Analytics is becoming more accessible with technology

democratised analytics

Data analytics has become integral to businesses – big or small, sometimes resulting in uncovering of new revenue streams.  AI and machine learning have made analytics more accessible and affordable.  Smaller companies who might not be able to afford to hire a ‘data specialist’ can now choose from a variety of free and paid for tools that can perform advanced analytics using multiple data sets – owned or otherwise.  

Analytics is no longer about cumbersome spreadsheets or uninspiring charts.  Visualisation techniques are used to bring data to life for better/easier comprehension.  Data monetisation is also emerging as a key trend with businesses ability to store large amount of data using cloud services.   

Business Intelligence overall has moved from an ‘experts service’ to ‘self-service’ model and the latter has further evolved with AI/ML.  These technologies have made business intelligence more transparent and trusted.  Natural language processing is further simplifying the analytics platforms for the users by allowing more flexibility on the queries.  ‘Citizen data scientists’ (those who perform analysis using automated tools without necessarily being data/analytics experts – source Gartner) are expected to be common place across industries and data skills will be a basic requirement for any role.

IBM lists out 5 steps to train employees become ‘citizen data scientists’:

  1. Create a culture of self-service:  Enable employees across departments to have easy access to data and tools and allow them to apply their own department knowledge to data analysis – without necessarily having to have only an analyst’s mind set.
  2. Remove barriers to secure data access:  Let more have access to more data and encourage experimentation without penalising failures.
  3. Encourage data exploration:  Let the employees take advantage of the easy-to-use cognitive tools and develop their own data-driven insights and solutions
  4. Develop a multi-talented team:  With more employees performing analysis, more insights will be generated.  It’s important for the organisation to establish an ‘operational team’ with a mix of expertise that can transform these insights into actions.
  5. Start small, think big:  Developing a breed of citizen data scientists across departments mean scientific approach to decision making will become more prevalent across the organisation.  This can eventually transform the overall company culture and drive better business results.

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Sourav Ganguly

About the Author Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly is the chief media officer at Centric. Leading a ten-man team of optimizers, planners, and strategist, he worked with clients to deliver significant returns on marketing investment. He can be reached on sourav.ganguly@centric.ae

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