Data-driven decision-making and performance is the next wave of the digital revolution that companies need to prepare for to enjoy the profound opportunities on offer, says Deloitte Analytics.
“Companies need to get smarter with how they harness the immense benefits of these changes, or be left behind by those that do. And with the jobs crisis causing such profound problems in our society today, businesses can harness the efficiencies data analytics provides to generate new jobs by innovating to grow faster,” says Wesley Govender, director: risk advisory at Deloitte.
In its recently-issued report, “Magic Quadrant for Business Analytics Services, Worldwide”, Gartner defines business analytics (BA) as services that “encompass decision management capabilities, analytics capabilities, and information management (IM) capabilities”.
“This field continues to grow, moving squarely into the mainstream of business decision-making worldwide. Data is everywhere around us and analytics should be everywhere too–in every corner of the business, every day. It should not be a special initiative, or a ‘department’, but an ongoing part of how decisions large and small are made every day,” says Govender.
However, the missing link in the chain is education and insight that matters and is at the cutting edge.
To help plug these gaps, and to provide the corporate world with the tools to bring about true data-driven change, Deloitte School of Analytics begins hosting a series of in-depth training seminars with international partners in South Africa in February next year.
“We want to see companies innovate and grow faster – but we are also the first to know that this cannot happen without regular and constant training and insights into current best practice. Our programmes are therefore designed so that the best international expertise in this field can be brought in to boardrooms in SA and on the continent, as it were, and the process of learning and implementation can truly begin,” says Govender.
Deloitte was recently named a global leader in Business Analytics Services by Gartner and it aims to ramp up even further the assistance it provides to clients in solving a wide variety of data related problems and define strategies for them to better manage, interpret and monetise their data assets.
Analytics innovators continue to push the edge, looking for new ways to gain advantage over slower-moving competitors.
” In some cases, that advantage comes through sweeping discoveries that can upend entire business models. In other cases, more modest insights may emerge that unleash cascading value,” says Govender.
“The disruptive effects of these changes on business models are significant. However, this change creates opportunities quickly – one of which is an ability to expand and create jobs for people with the right skills sets. To us, this is extremely exciting when you consider youth unemployment in South Africa is at 51% according to recent world development indicators,” he says.
Exponential growth in the areas of mobile data generation, real-time connectivity and digital business has made the job of protecting these assets and securing the gates in a “big data” world an altogether different-and more challenging undertaking.
“Due to the increase in regulator involvement from a privacy perspective, it is best to have more efficient use of data, rather than more data,” says Govender.
According to Deloitte, companies need to constantly ensure they are a step ahead of the changes, which continue to come at a very fast pace. Questions that need to be answered, and which the Deloitte seminar series hopes to answer, include the most efficient way to make long-term technology investments and the best ways to protect sensitive data on networks.
“Unexpected ways to understand a business or client’s needs can emerge by using rich data analysis, often to information that has been sitting idle for more than two decades. Near real-time insights can be highly beneficial – it is not about simply counting customer numbers or transactions anymore. Simply put, big data analysis pays off,” Govender says.