This is the third in a series of articles based on a collaborative program between Qlik and Forbes Insights designed to help organizations better use their data to become more successful.
Becoming a data-driven enterprise sounds a lot like a teenager deciding to become a doctor or a lawyer: It’s a great idea that can pay huge dividends, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Success requires a well-thought-out, long-term strategy.
The trick for these enterprises, of course, is figuring out the exact steps necessary to uncover the whole story that lives within an organization’s full array of data. Both business and IT leaders understand the importance of using more data from more sources to uncover insights that will help them make smarter decisions with greater impact on business outcomes. The challenge comes in finding and integrating the right strategies, processes and tools necessary to make this possible.
What are some of the top requirements organizations should be looking for to become true data-driven enterprises? What should their tools and services be offering that will help them transform data into actual answers? Here are some of the must-haves for organizations looking to get the whole story from their data and business intelligence initiatives:
- Be sure to mine your data sources—all of them. In large part, runaway growth in unstructured data can be attributed to a proliferation of devices such as notebooks, tablets and smartphones as well as new data sources, including sensors, kiosks, smart instruments and anything and everything with an embedded RFID chip.
- Look for business intelligence tools that let you dig into all the possible connections within your data. Whether that data is from a device, an application, a database or a repository, the true data-driven enterprise utilizes BI platforms that actively seek out and see the links between structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data for analysis and insight.
- Collaboration is essential to setting and reaching the right goals, asking the right questions and getting the best answers. Be sure to demand platforms that don’t just ease collaboration, but also have collaborative processes built in to share insights, visualizations and interactive apps.
- Analytics tools and systems have to be intuitive to both learn and use in order to speed proficiency and improve time to value. Specialized tools designed for hyperspecific tasks require users to learn multiple skills, which impacts the time and effort it takes to reach data-driven insights.
- Customization and personalization of analytics solutions must become the standard rather than the exception. As business users become savvier, not only with technology but also in leveraging the potential of data, more and more they will demand self-service tools and the ability to explore data as they see fit.
- As the amount of available data continues to expand, scalability is more important than ever. Remember that scalability doesn’t refer to accommodating just more users and more data, but also more locations, more connections, more devices and more complexity—without sacrificing performance or usability.
The combined result of these requirements is that data-driven enterprises are actively seeking business intelligence solutions that are distributed and easily customized to both the unique needs of the organization and the needs of its individual teams and users. BI solutions must be innately usable by everyone on the team, not just data scientists or developers, meaning they must be simple, intuitive and highly visual.
Finally, getting the whole story from your data requires solutions that are flexible enough to accommodate new data sources, new forms of analysis and new types of data. The bottom line is that front-line users need the ability to poke around in the data to find their own connections and insights—they’re the ones who understand the business best, after all.
Qlik wants people and organizations around the world to gain more from their collective human intelligence by leveraging the power of analytics. As a leader in visual analytics, Qlik provides a fully integrated and simple platform that delivers insight at the point of decision. Whether it’s a personal visualization from Excel data, a mission-critical analytics application for group collaboration or an industrial-strength enterprise deployment with complex requirements, people use Qlik to better access, present, explore and capitalize on the whole story that lives within their data.
For more information on what it means to become a data-driven enterprise, visit qlik.com/whole-story.