Today, we are all members of a highly digital world and the new heights to which digital can reach just keep jumping forward. Analysis is at the heart of any successful business - seeking out valuable data and generating new ideas to maximise efficiency and profit. With the 'Big Data Revolution' in full swing, there is a much wider array of business data to analyse and this can be a daunting challenge. Analysts and Consultants who can translate this to make crtical descisions are in high demand.
Thankfully, there are a great range of analysis tools being developed to work with this vast amount of data. The days of tedious Excel databasing, queries and reports are slowly being transformed by live analytics dashboards from the digital space as more and more businesses build high powered analytics tools into their websites and internal systems. Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) can deliver far more detailed information about consumer habits and is designed to condense this into easy to read statistics at your fingertips at any time of day.
Some of the key players include:
CalmSea – allows retailers to procure social network information to monitor trends and launch finely tuned marketing campaigns following the ebb and flow of public sentiment to products.
With all this new data analysis software out there, consulting takes on a new era. With more complex data being collected 24/7 in this 'Big Data' age, the more complex the results. Machines are not replacing the work, but adapting the way things are translated and making these descisons backed by powerfully relevant information. The analysis can come in three forms:
1) 'descriptive' – a summary of what is happening in the online space, social media results tend to be in this category
2) 'predictive' – a probability/forecast of what to expect in the future based on the current information at hand
3) 'prescriptive' – provides a series of outcomes based on a variety of actions that can be taken and ways in which to continue tracking results.
With the varying ways in which analysis tools provide us with such information, bringing in a trained consultant who can understand the meaning of such results and come up with new syntheses between different cross-referenced points is the only way in which bosses can be helped to make data-driven decisions. As Brain McCarthy, director of analytics strategy at Accenture, says; “companies are trying to figure out how to extract value from all the noise” and this is where the role of the consultant becomes key.
As businesses increasingly become more reliant on digital for their operational improvement and strategic outlook, consultants have to keep up and become skilled in the technology availble to delivery results.