Written by PETER ANTONY | May 24, 2016
Today, that's simply not true.
In my last post, I talked about smaller organisations taking advantage of their data assets. This is key as it can provide useful insights into the health of an organisation and can improve different functions including Sales & Marketing, Inventory Control and Customer Relationship Management.
The point is that just because there isn't a multi-million dollar budget to implement a enterprise Datawarehouse, doesn't mean that data can't be utilised.
Today, Cloud Business Intelligence (BI) tools can help expedite the uncovering of insights and smaller organisations are now able to look beneath-the-surface and begin to understand what's going on. I say begin, as there's a few aspects of data to consider before exploring it's value including (in no order of importance):
It's important to also define a knowledge requirement to help focus on uncovering a particular insight. It could be as simple as where are my Top 10 Customers from?. Yes, you can also wander around the "data-forest" seeing what the data can tell you. This can also lead to other questions that can then be focused on.
Overall, smaller organisations aren't at a disadvantage any more as they now have access to the tools and technologies of the larger corporations. This is only one-third of the equation.
Rule of Thirds
We believe that it's important to have the 3 parts below working together to extract meaningful information from data.
Data can only tell you so much of a story. This is where the organisation needs to be involved to help put the data into context. A person or people with expertise on the Subject matter are needed to be able to give background on:
Usually, as small to medium organisations don't have access to dedicated data-experts, someone external with knowledge is required. Using the internal knowledge around organisational functions and processes, they can then look at the data and put it into context.
It makes the process of understanding the data somewhat easier as looking at it on it's own doesn't deliver as much value.
This part of the equation brings all the knowledge on the Subject matter together to be able to extract meaningful information. Typically, the tools used can be broken down into 3 categories:
Overall, smaller to medium sized organisations are able to utilise their data assets to their advantage but need the internal knowledge, skills and the tools to do this. You don't need to jump on the "Cloud" bandwagon if you're just beginning to explore your data. There are free tools to help cleanup messy data (like DataCleaner, OpenRefine and yes, Excel) and consolidate (Talend). Yes, Cloud-BI tools can help in this area, but it's important to start small with a particular area of your organisation.