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The data revolution

With analytics and management information (MI) increasingly being used by companies to gauge what is and isn’t working, Louise Brett, Head of Financial Services Analytics at Deloitte, explains how to use facts and figures for the benefit of your business.

Data is the capital of the new global economy. No matter where you look, it is there, and every business today has an opportunity to gain competitive advantage from it.

Data analysis can help organisations to unlock the value in their business information. Regardless of the sector you operate in, there are many examples of how it can enhance your business. Leading companies are using it to better understand and improve customer relationships; minimise risk; manage their workforce; boost supply chain efficiencies; or increase product profitability. What’s more, when data is combined with different sources of information, it is entirely possible to forecast and predict what could happen in the future.
 
As governments continue to open up their vast resources of public data to companies and citizens, businesses are in a prime position to take advantage of the ‘open data’ revolution. This free source of information can play a significant role in creating new revenue streams and is fostering the growth of a new generation of data-driven businesses.
 
Many organisations feel they are coming under increasing pressure to exploit so-called ‘big data’. There is a risk some could get swept up in the marketing hype and throw money at programmes which focus on the volume, velocity and variety of data. Rather than starting here, first ask yourself what business problem it is you’re trying to solve. Once this is established, you can then develop data-driven solutions – based on timely, relevant and quality data – specific to the needs of your business and the challenge to overcome.
 
Data analysis is the key to uncovering patterns and connections that wouldn’t otherwise have been visible. By choosing to compete on these insights, you will be better positioned to make the right decision at the right time and at the right place.

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