Advanced analytics market topped $US1B last year. Now a top business priority

Advanced analytics is the fastest-growing segment of the business intelligence (BI) and analytics software market and surpassed $US1 billion in 2013, according to research by Gartner.

The tech research outfit saId advanced analytics is now a top business priority, fuelled by the need to make advanced analysis accessible to more users and broaden the insight into the business. According to Alexander Linden, Research Director at Gartner, “While advanced analytics have existed for over 20 years, big data has accelerated interest in the market and its position in the business.

He said that rather than being the domain of a few select groups (such as marketing and risk management), many more business functions now have a legitimate interest fostering better decision making and improved business outcomes.

Gartner advises that IT and business leaders must expand their efforts to move their organisations from using only traditional BI that addresses descriptive analysis (“what happened”) to advanced analytics, which complements by answering the “why,” the “what will happen,” and “how we can address it” (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Four Types of Analytics Capability

Some description

While basic analytics provide a general summary of data, advanced analytics deliver deeper data knowledge and granular data analysis,” said Linden. He suggested that the rewards of data-driven decision making can be a powerful boost to business outcomes. He cited the example of clinical diagnosis applications applying analytics across a range of structured and unstructured sources — including health records, drug information, study data, and others — to recommend optimal treatment plans for individual patients.

However, he cautioned that creating value from data requires a range of talents — from data integration and preparation, to architecting specialised computing/database environments, to data mining and intelligent algorithms. “Extracting value out of data is not a trivial task,” said Linden. “One of the key elements of any such ‘making sense out of data’ program is the people, who must have the right skills and capabilities.

Customer experience

According to Gartner’s latest global big data survey, 68 per cent of respondents said that they use big data to enhance their customer experience. This is the third year in which customer experience has been a top business problem to address.

Ultimately data science is inevitable, as it can help extract various kinds of knowledge. For example, how to acquire new customers (database marketing), how to do more cross-selling (via propensity-to-purchase modeling), information on route optimisation, drug design and demand or failure prediction.

According to Linden, “Whether an organisation calls the role ‘data scientist’ or something else, individuals (or teams of professionals) with these core skills and soft skills will prove essential in maximising the realised value of your information assets, and discovering opportunities for enhanced business performance and competitive advantage.

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