Data analytics is steadily becoming more important in the business world. The power of data is made clear by the countless cases where implementing strategic analytics increases efficiency. Regardless of your industry, if there’s data that can be collected, analytics can help you make better business decisions.
Here are some tips for choosing the right data analytics tools.
Determine the Strategic Needs of your Organization
Some people still think data-based insights are limited to large corporations with massive budgets. This, however, is changing as well. One survey of SMBs found two-thirds of small businesses spending over $10,000 annually on data analytics. While this might seem like a lot of money, especially for a smaller business, it shows how listening to data can vastly lower operating costs, boost productivity and solve bottlenecks.
But you need to get results in order to justify any kind of spend—regardless of the size of your company. It’s important to refine the focus and scope of your analytics program before choosing tools. At any business, this should involve consulting relevant stakeholders, as well as those with the most data expertise. These individuals all need to work together to find the products that will get the job done without busting the budget.
Think Carefully about Costs
It can sometimes be tough to tell the difference between making prudent investments versus cutting corners. This is something you must distinguish when dealing with data analytics tools. Costs are going to be largely determined by the delivery of the product—whether it’s SaaS, subscription, or perpetual contracting. Your organization needs to carefully calculate which option makes the most sense for your situation and budget. You might also want to look for a provider that can deliver its services in several, if not all of these formats.
Greater efficiency is the ultimate purpose of data analytics. Cost savings is one of the highest forms of efficiency when running an enterprise. You’ll want to ensure any potential analytics tools will create more value for the organization than their price tags.
Consider What You’re Hoping to Get Out of Data Analytics Tools
No two enterprises are aiming to do the same thing with data analytics. Thus, every organization is going to need something a little bit different when it comes to data analytics tools. Greater data democracy and ad hoc analytics capabilities are two elements many organizations are looking for in their data analytics products. For these purposes, ThoughtSpot is one of the stronger names on the market. With artificial intelligence-powered search analytics, even users without deep data expertise can get immediate actionable insights.
At the same time, not all organizations are looking for that kind of tool. While the power of ad hoc analytics is empowering to many businesses, some aren’t looking to go that route. There are still more traditional analytics products out there for companies trying to solve issues related to data and IT.
Think About The Future
When growing a business, it’s important to look to the future. Without insight on what’s coming tomorrow, you won’t know how to act today. While it’s partially data’s role to help organizations accomplish this, there are also some qualitative design issues that must be addressed from the beginning:
- Will scalability be an issue? Ensure the tools you choose will be able to evolve along with your business. This means being able to handle the load of increasing volumes of users and queries. Otherwise, you’ll be scrambling for a fix down the line when you should be thinking about growing.
- What maintenance is required? Depending on whether you choose cloud or on-premise options, you’ll have to be vigilant of updates and changes to analytics tools.
- Will it be difficult to train employees? Depending on your goals, it will vary how many employees you’ll want to train to use company data analytics tools. This is something you should take into account when choosing products and services.
Data analytics should be an essential part of your organization’s decision-making process. Taking the time to get the right analytics tools is going to make all the difference in the yield you get from them.
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