Why Advanced Analytics Are More Valuable Than Ever

At the fourth annual Dell World event last month in Austin, data analytics took center stage. Whether it was Michael Dell’s opening keynote on the power and promise of the data economy, the lead keynote panel discussion featuring Dell Software’s own Dr. Tom Hill, or the many big data and data analytics themed sessions, demonstrations, and interviews throughout week, the importance of turning data into insights was clear.

“Part of the big data problem is that there’s a lot of noise. So you need analytical tools to filter out that noise, said Dell Distinguished Engineer Mark Davis in the Dell World interview embedded at the bottom of this post.

 On stage at Dell World 2014: Geoff Colvin, Tom Reilly, Michael Chui, Shyam Sankar, Thomas Hill

None of this was an accident. Each year at Dell World, we focus our content on the issues that matter most to our customers, and the ability of companies to survive and thrive in the data economy is inextricably tied to their ability to gain business advantages through the use of advanced analytics. While advanced analytics platforms themselves are not new, modern technologies now enable us to connect to and integrate data for analysis far more readily than we ever could in the past. Combined with advancements in the analytics platforms themselves, these new capabilities have transformed the typical advanced analytics use case.

No longer just a mechanism used to cut costs, advanced and predictive analytics have become a primary vehicle through which businesses make money. What that means is that if it’s not already there, advanced analytics is well on its way to becoming a must-have capability for mid-market and large enterprise companies alike, and a must-have offering for any vendor purporting to deliver a truly end-to-end data management solution. That’s why Dell moved quickly to acquire StatSoft early this year. The addition of the Statistica advanced analytics platform added a critical component to our ever-growing set of modern information management capabilities.

With Statistica in tow, we’re now having rich discussions with customers about the many money-making use cases that are now realistically attainable through the use of advanced analytics. Here are just five of the many ways advanced analytics can help you find the value in your data – and monetize it.

  1. Enhance customer understanding. When you understand and anticipate customer behaviors and buying patterns, you more readily deliver the products and services they want, when and where they want them. That’s how revenue is created. It’s also how great customer support is delivered. Advanced analytics enables companies to better predict the need for and proactively deliver customer support. Great customer support, even more so than great tools, is what leads to renewals and referrals – in other words, revenue.
  2. Speed the pace of decision making. The old adages hold true. Time is still money. Platforms like Statistica enable companies to embed analytics directly within the operational decision making process, in turn speeding (and in some cases, automating) business decisions that previously required time-consuming and costly deliberations.
  3. Deliver broad process improvements. By embedding analytics into daily work activities, companies can empower team members to drive out inefficiencies and implement process improvements that can be directly tracked to increases in the bottom line.
  4. Remain competitive with online rivals and retailers. Online competitors have traditionally gained advantage by being more agile and responding more rapidly to customer needs than their larger, legacy counterparts. If your business falls into the latter category, the deeper customer insights, improved customer support, faster decision making, and optimized business processes enabled by advanced analytics are vital to matching the speed and agility of your smaller, online competitors.
  5. Develop vertical-specific models. The data analysis needs of companies are becoming increasingly specialized, and more specifically, increasingly verticalized. Customers in verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, banking, and marketing need analytic capabilities that align to the highly specific needs of those industries. Modern advanced analytics platforms can help companies gain the vertical-specific insight essential to lower costs and maintaining healthy revenue streams. Statistica, in particular, thrives in this area.

There are, of course, many ways advanced analytics deliver value for customers beyond those listed here. I believe that before long, advanced analytics will deliver more bang for the buck in terms of P&L than any other technology investment companies can make. So consider this just the start of the conversation, one we look forward to continuing with customers for a long time to come. In the months ahead, we’ll continue to invest in our advanced analytics capabilities, and we fully expect that our customers will do the same.  

About the Author: Matt Wolken