Big data and analytics continue to generate lots of interest among senior executives who see the potential to use data-driven insights to transform the way they do business and gain a competitive edge. Over the past year, the number of organizations that have deployed data-driven projects has jumped by 125%, according to The 2015 Big Data and Analytics study by IDG Enterprise.

Yet despite the promise that big data analytics offers to companies, most organizations are unsure how to proceed, as noted in a Harvard Business Review article authored by McKinsey & Company’s Dominic Barton and David Court.

Many executives are convinced that their organizations aren’t ready to take on big data analytics initiatives, argue Barton and Court. Many companies struggle to understand the data they already have. In other cases, investments in data warehousing programs never meshed with business processes. Perhaps their current analytics programs are too complicated and don’t yield enough useful insights.

In McKinsey’s work with dozens of companies, it has found that fully exploiting data and analytics requires three mutually supportive capabilities.

  • First, companies need to be able to identify, combine, and manage multiple sources of data.
  • Second, they require the ability to build advanced analytic models for predicting and optimizing outcomes.
  • Third, and most critical from McKinsey’s point of view, “management must possess the muscle to transform the organization so that the data and models actually yield better decisions.” Essential to all three of these capabilities is a clear strategy for how to use data and analytics to compete, as well as deployment of the right technology architecture and capabilities.

TIBCO Spotfire analytics platform can help organizations address all three requirements. For instance, using Spotfire’s data visualization and data discovery tools, business users can collect and combine multiple data sets, analyze and visualize data from numerous sources. The ability to blend multiple data sources using rich visualization capabilities enables users to identify and act on opportunities in data that might otherwise be tough to spot. Meanwhile, visual data discovery allows users to manipulate data and make correlations between different data sets easily, leading to rapid discovery and higher productivity.

As the McKinsey authors also note, business users need the ability to build advanced analytic models for predicting and optimizing outcomes. Spotfire enables business leaders to use its advanced analytics capabilities to become more forward-looking, allowing them to produce better business results, make proactive decisions, and reduce uncertainty.

To harken back to McKinsey’s final point, “management must possess the muscle to transform the organization so that the data and models actually yield better decisions.” At Spotfire, we believe that arming business users with the right data and the right tools helps to create a data-driven mindset throughout the organization where employees from the executive suite to front-line decision-makers are applying analytics to as many use cases as possible. At the “Transform” stage of the analytics maturity model, organizational leaders don’t even think “analytics” anymore. Analytics is simply engrained into the fabric of the company.

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