Business Intelligence & Analytics
Business Intelligence just a few years ago meant creating a report and dumping data how things were going for the organization over a historical period of time. However, with the power and tools available leveraging cloud-based and modern analytics resources, Business Intelligence & Analytics today means getting real time historical data, using predictive analytics to analyze the past to project into the future, and expanding data gathering and analysis beyond company data but also including census data, environment data, buying trend data, economic data, and the like.
By using the latest analytic tools and technologies, CCO’s data scientists helps organizations make better decisions in the operations of their organizations.
To better understand what this really means for organizations, here’s an example of an organization CCO helped in increasing sales and decreasing costs being leveraged as key business decision tools by the CEO and other executives in the organization.
Background: This retail sales organization had hundreds of sales offices spanning over a dozen countries that was leveraging 10+ year old sales and inventory tracking tools, and getting weekly reports that merely showed focused data (what was sold, what inventory was left).
CCO’s Involvement: Over an initial 2-year period, CCO helped the organization automate and simplify their I.T. operations so that the organization’s I.T. personnel no longer spent time looking at blinking lights on racks and racks of servers, and doing busy work backing up, patching, and maintaining systems; but instead, had I.T. systems running in the cloud, and giving I.T. time to help the business leverage technology than merely using it.
For the first time in I.T. history, the I.T. personnel were able to get out of the datacenter and reach out to the sales organization to observe how products were sold, how inventory was tracked and managed, and understand the accuracy (or the lack of ) of data tracking. What CCO and the I.T. personnel concluded was multiple areas where data collect was manual (and prone to input entry error), and reports that were weeks old, with no correlation to advertising campaigns, market or weather conditions, or reflective of the effectiveness of the organization’s sales team.
CCO’s Solution: CCO first met with the executives of the organization (business, sales, and operations execs) to understand what they wanted to know and get out of from reporting and analysis that’ll help them in their jobs. The obvious responses was accurate information, real-time, with correlation to internal and external events and activities. CCO started with building an initial centralized data repository where ALL information can be collected (as opposed a different data system in each site and region, separately managed and controlled). CCO then automated data collection using RFID tags, barcodes, and tracking systems that streamlined data collection in real-time, so that the data collected was more accurate and believable by the executives.
CCO then collected other data streams such as advertising campaign data, weather conditions, local market and economic data, user buying sentiment data leveraging public sources, social media sources, data from multiple vendors, and internal inventory and sales tracking sources.
The End Result: With multiple facets of information, CCO was able to create business intelligent dashboards that the executives were able to quickly see real-time data and projections, as well as provided the executives training on how they could easily “flip” data, queries, and sources to see the data, and data projections that helped each of them in the decision making process they wanted to know for years. The impact of advertising campaigns resulted in an assessment of how effective the campaigns were in bringing customers in to their locations. Weather played a negative factor, where storms and cyclones decreased foot traffic to the locations, and impacted the overall sales in a region for a specific period of time. RFID tags, along with security cameras, ensured that as inventory was moved out of the warehouses, video imagery tracked the item to either a sale, or an immediate inquiry of the status of the item can be taken up with the person in the video surveillance relocating the item in transit.
Business intelligence and analytics in the current era with dozens of input sources and the power of computing that can crunch multiple data sources at the same time is helping organizations make decisions in real time, than to be managing their business from weeks / months old data, and limited correlation analysis reports.