Harnessing the Power of Data for your Business

Richard Arthurs is MNP’s National Data and Information Dynamics Leader


The recent surge in affordable innovation (hardware, software and cloud-based services) means more businesses are undergoing digital facelifts. It’s becoming possible to place miniature data collectors just about anywhere in a process and on just about everything produced. Meaningful quantities of data are being collected and are accessible to virtually any business – and many are already taking advantage. Our 2018 National Business Leaders Survey found that:

  • Two-thirds of Canadian businesses believe data analytics technology to be a moderate or significant transformative force for their organization.
  • Four in 10 Canadian businesses are using data analytics to increase predictive decision-making capacity.
  • Four in 10 Canadian businesses are using data analytics to achieve product and service efficiencies.
  • Three in 10 Canadian businesses are using data analytics to identify business risks.
  • Data analytics spending ranked number one overall for “significant spending” intentions in Canadian businesses the coming year.

In the near future, the requirement to find and use insights from data will be a part everyone’s job and role and critical to every business’s success.

Businesses that effectively use data to drive profitability and efficiency have a clear current and future competitive advantage. In the near future, the requirement to find and use insights from data will be a part everyone’s job and role and critical to every business’s success. Business intelligence software is already commonplace in many work environments, as is the use of dashboards to replace spreadsheets as the go-to business decision-making tools.

42%


of Canadian financial and professional services organizations are planning “significant” levels of investment in data analytic technology – MNP Leaders Survey

Big Data’s Horsepower

As noted in our survey results — in harnessing the power of data, many businesses are looking to use data analytics to help with predictive decision making. By gaining a more complete understanding of past events and trends, businesses are able to predict more accurately the future needs of their customers and plan accordingly.

Financial institutions, for example, have successfully used predictive analytics to improve their services. They use information from past customer experiences to determine sustainable debt levels of their clientele, calculate appropriate credit levels for credit cards and generate fraud behaviour predictions. These calculations can be done in a fraction of the time it would take for employees to do the work and over time, artificial intelligence can be leveraged to better understand customer behaviours to maximize fraud prevention and minimize disruption to the legitimate needs of that customer. Instead, employees have more time to work with customers to find tailored solutions to their needs.

Large corporate institutions and giant multinational corporations aren’t the only businesses benefiting from the powerful value propositions offered by predictive analytics. Advances in data analytics software, coupled with more data points and cheaper storage options have opened the potential of predictive analysis to small- and medium-sized organizations. The smallest businesses can use predictive modeling to better understand how customer demand can change and plan to be prepared with appropriate levels of stock and staffing.

Even among larger companies, the key to harnessing the power of data and implementing successful initiatives is often to start small. By starting with manageable initiatives, companies are more likely to see success and return on investment. Projects that are too large and complex are more likely to lead to frustration and disappointment. Small wins are also more likely to capture the attention of executives and make it easier to launch the bigger efforts.

Whether large or small, your business can likely benefit from data analytical tools. To learn more about how to get data working for your business, contact Richard Arthurs, National Leader – Data and Information Dynamics​.

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