A guide to understanding the three key phases of data analysis.
I love numbers. Throughout my career, I focused on data and statistics to pinpoint the most critical areas for improvement for my teams. That’s why I enjoy the growing business trend spotlighting customer service. There are a multitude of categories and data points to gather and understand when it comes to the customer experience and customer satisfaction. That ocean of data can be immensely helpful for any enterprise willing to analyze it and implement data-based solutions.
I’m not alone. Forrester discovered 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” but many aren’t. Only 29% of the businesses Forrester interviewed said they were good at connecting data to action. There’s a big hurdle between big data collection and data-driven business: making actionable decisions from that flood of data takes time and a lot of effort.
Big data can make a big impact on enterprises, but only if companies can understand what the data means and act on that understanding. Understanding big data happens in three ways: reporting, analytics, and actionable analytics. Each data discipline builds on each other, adding insight and value in every phase.
Big Data Analysis Requires The Right Tools
1) Reporting Tools
Simple data reporting is an important method for understanding how well the gears are turning in a business. Reporting is the baseline tool enterprises need to begin understanding the data they are collecting from customers.
Reporting tools organize big data into digestible summaries so employees can monitor different areas of a business. Typically these are a set of predefined reports that provide operational input and used by the services & operations teams.
2) Analytics Tools
Data analytics tools take reporting one step further. Instead of simply allowing employees to easily observe data, analytics tools synthesize the ocean of big data into insightful conclusions.
Like reporting tools, analytics tools need employees to know what they are looking for, but analytics tools begin to compare and analyze reports and trends to provide valuable insight into how different business process interact and affect one another.
This combination of insight and business value make analytics tools a powerful solution for managers and executives trying to discern how how trends can impact their operations. A good analytics tool allows a manager with a mission to see how business processes are performing and determine what steps should be taken to achieve the next goal.
3) Actionable Analytics Tools
Building on its reporting and analytics counterparts, actionable analytics tools make big data engaging.
An actionable analytics tool employs active monitoring, predefined variables, and alert thresholds to push notifications and actions to managers and executives automatically.
The definition is in its name. Actionable analytics take the reports and insights created by analytics tools and turns them into actionable outcomes. Insights that spur action are typically more valuable to a business than insight that simply answers a question. Employees need to interpret and analyze data reports when using reporting and analytics tools if they want the data to actually change anything at the company. Actionable analytics automatically puts that analysis front and center and alerts users about potential changes based on predetermined thresholds. This can prevent crisis before it happens or point to a pivotal change that requires special attention or action.
“Insights that spur action are typically more valuable to a business than insight that simply answers a question.”
At Zappix, we employ all three phases of data analysis to give enterprises the information they need to succeed. Our actionable analytics suite automatically provides managers the trends analysis and customer statistics they need to make wide-reaching company decisions, arming operations managers with real-time reporting on how the service is running, business managers with trends analysis and business related report and executives the ability to define thresholds for alerts and actions. When all three phases are properly utilized, big data reaches its full potential. On its own, big data can be an overwhelming ocean of information, but thanks to tools like Zappix has developed, businesses can understand the ocean currents and take action on the conclusions the data provides.
Analytics Tools Are Getting Smarter
Our goal at Zapix is to constantly innovate and push the limits of technology. The next step in big data analysis rests on the development of more advanced tools. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on the verge of revolutionizing data analytics. While actionable analytics puts the right trends and conclusions on a platter for executives to easily understand and make decisions from, AI-equipped data analytics will help companies discover trends in the data they didn’t even think to look for. AI and machine learning integrations will constantly test and discover new variables and datasets to connect information and form conclusions without the need for manual analysis.
All three phases of big data technology help companies understand their customers. The upcoming wave of AI innovation will only further our understanding of our data and Zappix self-service platforms will be riding the wave, connecting enterprises to more actionable analysis and insights than ever before, helping our customers provide superior customer experience to their consumers.