There is a great opportunity for New Zealand businesses to improve business performance and productivity by outsourcing data analytics.
Businesses that adopt analytics, including predictive analytics, are gaining competitive advantage as they better understand the critical data to drive sales, operational efficiency and financial performance and having better engagement with their staff and customers.
Employees do not need to be drowned in data that means very little to them. Dashboards are not one-size-fits-all and there needs to be different views and levels of access through the business.
Businesses generate many different types of data every day, lots of it. Excel has become the tool of choice for many businesses as they try to wring as much insight as they can out of their data from systems.
Many businesses are frustrated with poor reporting from existing systems and dealing with insights from multiple systems. Excel is a great tool and we still use it for one-off analysis and some forecasting. But spreadsheets by themselves are seldom the right solution.
Now businesses can be connected to real-time data by automating the extraction of data and analysis and presentation of data from core business systems, financial and operational.
Data can be presented in dashboards, all in one place in visual formats that are easy to read, easy to share and accessible from anywhere, anytime. This enables businesses to drive performance with the opportunities uncovered and the ability to make better and more rapid decisions backed by data.
Outsourcing data analytics is levelling the playing field between organisations with the capabilities to perform analytics in-house and those that do not, according to IDC New Zealand. This is particularly true for SMEs that are constrained by budgets and are unlikely to have the skill sets required in-house.
To create an end-to-end, automated solution requires a range of skill sets to work across the technology stack involved in extracting, loading and transforming data from the range of data sources, data management and dashboard creation.
Business expertise, data engineering, data science and data analytics skills are required. At the corporate level, these skills may be found in-house. But many, including larger SMEs are increasingly overcoming these constraints by outsourcing analytics to external providers.
More Businesses Planning to Invest in Data Analytics
The recent IDC 2019 NZ IT Services Ecosystem study identified that 46% of New Zealand organisations plan to invest in analytics in 2020 and most of this investment will be for outsourcing data analytics to external analytics providers.
Their research also showed that when they used a third-party for analytics, they often preferred the full life cycle of business analytics services from information management and analysis to business insights.
They predict that analytics providers who can provide these services, particularly in industry specialisations, will become highly valued. Our own journey has led us to many of the same conclusions.
Options to Implement Advanced Analytics
For businesses wanting to benefit from advanced analytics provided in an automated end-to-end solution, they have three options, depending on the skill set of their team and how soon they want it:
- Start from Scratch
Build your own BI team, spend a fortune on a steep learning curve and wait a long time to see results.
We have seen a number of businesses where they have wasted a lot of time and money trying to do it themselves before realising it is more complex than they thought.
Even a large accounting firm took three years before they admitted that they couldn’t do it. Their team all had Power BI Desktop, but no one knew how to use it.
- Outsource Part of the Project
A connector service and/or dashboard creation can be outsourced, depending on the IT skills of your team. Accessing the data in your various systems is the hard part if you want it automated to refresh hourly or daily etc.
Most ‘out of the box’ connectors and some APIs may not give you access to the end points you need. Great dashboard design is another skill set that can be outsourced.
- Outsource Analytics for a Quick Start
Consider outsourcing your data analytics for an end-to-end, automated solution. Use a team of experts who have already done similar solutions.
Unless you have your own team of experts, consider outsourcing your analytics project by using a team of data science and business translator experts like we have at Smetric Insights. Get results in weeks, not months and have ongoing expert support.