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Published 2020-09-11 06:10:41
As the Internet-of-things continues to expand exponentially, companies across the globe have started using the power of big data and real-time analytics to improve business operations, increase revenues, and retain new customers. Moreover, the advent of mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, and wearable devices have contributed to the barrage of information that is processed daily.
According to the World Economic Forum, it is estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally by 2020–the equivalent of 212,765,957 DVDs per day.1 To stay ahead of the curve and serve their markets more efficiently, companies across several sectors are converting this sea of raw data into actionable real-time insights that allow them to respond to market conditions and ultimately increase competitive advantage. There are numerous benefits to integrating real-time analytics, and in this article, we look at a few of them.
1. Proactive Decision-making
A big factor that influences responsive decision-making is time. In today’s dynamic business and technological landscape, companies must be able to pivot when market conditions change. According to the Compliance, Governance, and Oversight Council (CGOC), 69% of all data collected by organisations today loses most of its value. Integrating real-time analytics into decision-making processes enables your company to utilise relevant and timely data, ensuring you derive the most benefit efficiently.
Harnessing the power of real-time data to innovate processes and systems is a tool leading companies employ. One such company is the United Parcel Service (UPS). UPS uses a big data system called ORION (On-road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) to manage its fleet system. The system creates optimal routes for delivery drivers from the data supplied by customers, drivers and the vehicles and can alter the routes on-the-fly based on changing weather conditions or accidents.
UPS states that since the adoption of ORION, they reduced fuel consumption by 10 million gallons, reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tonnes, deliver 350,000 more packages yearly, and reduced the distance travelled by fleets by 46 million kilometres.2
3. Trend and Pattern Identification
Trend and pattern identification is arguably the most important benefit as it forms the basis for most benefits. By having access to real-time trends, your organisation can identify areas within business operations that require improvement or other corrective measures. As real-time data provides ‘up-to-the-minute information’, areas of concern can be identified quickly to develop responses that employ incremental or aggressive strategies.
4. Single Source of Data
Having access to a system that consolidates data from multiple sources is a great way to increase data accuracy, consistency, and visibility. Accuracy refers to how correct the data is, consistency refers to how free the data is from contradiction. In contrast, visibility means being able to see what is happening within the data at any point in time. The problem with using disparate systems is that they introduce a host of potential issues such as wasting time on sourcing reliable data, unnecessary costs of maintaining multiple systems, and data error. With a single source of data, information is readily available and validated at the point-of-entry, thus reducing the time spent on collecting data and increasing data reliability.
5. Performance Insights
Real-time data provides a platform to analyse operational performance with excellent transparency. From reports that give a general overview to reports that provide detailed breakdowns into factors such as location, department, and project, real-time data can help your organisation pinpoint which business functions impact success.
A great example of how real-time data is used to track performance is in the music industry. EMI, a large music label based in London, uses real-time data to track global campaigns, enabling sales managers to track sales broken down by geography, retailer, or artist, thus allowing them to measure the effectiveness of promotional campaigns.
6. Improve Product/Service Offering
Improved services are a by-product of performance insights. This is because data from these findings can be used to tailor services and products to suit the needs of customers. Going back to the music industry, if EMI’s promotional campaigns are performing better in North America as opposed to Europe, EMI’s management can delve deeper into that data to discover reasons for this occurrence. Findings from these reports can then be used to tailor the promotional campaigns to appeal more to the European market.
To achieve competitive advantage, companies need to be able to sift through the insurmountable volumes of data created daily. By tapping into the power of real-time analytics, relevant and valid information is readily available to foster responsive decisions on an operational, tactical, and strategic level. From having the ability to serve customers better, improve product offerings, and mitigate potential risk, real-time data is a commodity that has the power to shape business success and create sustainable value.
1Desjardins, J. (2019). How much data is generated each day? [online] World Economic Forum. Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/04/how-much-data-is-generated-each-day-cf4bddf29f/.
2Ups.com. (2016). ORION: The algorithm proving that left isn’t right | UPS - United States. [online] Available at: https://www.ups.com/us/en/services/knowledge-center/article.page?kid=aa3710c2.
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Qode Health Solutions is a private company registered in South Africa with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CPC). Qode's majority share holders is vested in Non-profit organisations and fall part of one of 4 group technology-based companies located in Gauteng.