infoTECH Feature

October 25, 2016

The Data Challenge: How Businesses Can Best Obtain Actionable Insights

By Special Guest
Guy Levy-Yurista, PhD, Head of Product, Sisense

More than ever, businesses are facing pressure to obtain data insights quickly and at a low cost to stay competitive. As this pressure increases, so does the complexity and amount of data that businesses are collecting and analyzing. Today, a one-year old startup has more data than a Fortune 50 company had 20 years ago. Small and large companies alike are struggling with limited IT resources and budget to obtain comprehensive and actionable insights.

Organizations are faced with many data challenges, though two specific issues are top-of-mind for businesses of all sizes. The first is the enormous growth of data sources, and how this has made obtaining a unified view that can inform meaningful insights increasingly difficult. The second obstacle stems from this challenge – a reliance on IT departments to pull, maintain and analyze large disparate data sets, which is costing businesses time and money they simply don’t have in an always-on world.

The Growth of Data

Many businesses are struggling to get an eagle’s-eye view of their data, trying to pull insights from large data sets, and disparate channels. As data volume grows, its complexity is compounded further. According to CSC (News - Alert), data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009. A specific example of this can be seen in the retail vertical. With the pace at which business are moving today, a retailer can no longer wait for extended periods of time to analyze sales and inventory data. The insights need to be ready and available on the same day, or even down to a few hours, to better adjust sales strategies and tactics in the moments when they can make an impact on campaigns. With the overwhelming volume of messy data that exists, it is important that businesses are capturing the data that matters, at the right time, with full, comprehensive views.

IT Bottleneck

Historically, the process of retrieving and analyzing data has required extensive IT involvement, resulting in long and often tedious processes that drain budgets and resources. In 2015, Forbes reported that companies would spend an average of $7.4M on data-related initiatives over a 12- month period, with enterprises investing $13.8M, and small and medium businesses investing $1.6M.

For small businesses, this is often a deal breaker – but it doesn’t have to be. According to Gartner’s (News - Alert) 2016 Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics, “buying decisions are now being made, or heavily influenced, primarily by business users that demand easy-to-use and easy-to-buy products that deliver clear business value and enable powerful analytics with limited technical expertise.” This signifies a crucial industry shift toward self-service solutions. The reality is, businesses need to find a way to both manage data and extract valuable insights from this data, which can impact their bottom line. However, businesses can’t wait for IT to intervene every time a question is asked or a complex data set needs to be merged and analyzed. Instead, organizations need to put the power of analytics into the hands of everyday business users, who can manage, analyze and visualize data in the moment that they need it – not hours or days later. Without this agility, organizations will fall behind.

It’s critical that businesses recognize the need to put analytical power into the hands of their business users. As the volume and complexity of data increases, the ability to quickly and easily view it through a single lens to fuel business decisions is more important than ever. Those that are adopting self-service analytics solutions will experience advantages over the competition in meeting both of the aforementioned challenges head on.

About the Author

Guy Levy-Yurista carries a unique mix of skills acquired over 25 years of experience in startup, venture capital and Fortune 500 environments, and specializes in commercializing advanced technologies in dynamic market environments. Guy currently serves as the head of product at Sisense, where he most recently led the launch of Sisense BI Virtually Everywhere, an initiative bringing the IoT to business intelligence.

Prior to this, Guy served as the executive vice president for the Usher Mobile Identity program with MicroStrategy (News - Alert), where he productized and launched a powerful Identity Intelligence tool. Prior to his role with MicroStrategy, Guy served as the Chief Technology Officer for AirPatrol, was part of the executive team who sold an MDM company into McAfee (News - Alert), and led multiple teams with AOL and several other local startup companies.

Guy is an experienced entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He also holds a PhD degree in Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, and an MBA degree from the Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania.

Edited by Alicia Young

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