Organisations’ digitisation has moved forward five years in just the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the issues many organisations have faced was inertia creeping into their decision-making processes.
In this context, we have seen that data analytics is already much more than just a tool that gives us quicker access to our numbers for reporting purposes. It is a tool that allows us to aggregate and view business and associated data in context, which enables us to make informed, fact-based decisions.
Modern BI platforms allow users to access governed, curated information and then extend it using readily available data from a centralised data analytics platform. This gives people a huge advantage by not having to escalate questions across a hierarchy but enables them to make decisions by themselves’ with the highest level of certainty.
Deploying data analytics platforms and inspiring the people in an organisation to embrace data or insights-driven approaches to tackle their everyday challenges is a key factor. Companies must learn how they can use data science with modern algorithms and AI to further expand the data base on which decisions are based, which will continue to push the boundaries of operations and automation.
“Most people use statistics like a drunkard uses a lamppost; more for support than illumination.”
The main inputs and contributions are:
Business Intelligence tools are fundamental
- The flexibility of the modern self-service business intelligence tools allows companies to bring digitally based, reliable, and informed decision-making to every level of their organization.
- Companies must make sure they get the best value out of their investment. As a starting point, buyers should ensure that their BI vendor has a proven track record of delivering tailored solutions to the needs of the industry. This will make it easier to access relevant and actionable information for the planning and decision-making process across the maritime industry.
Where there’s data, there’s key performance indicators
- With the latest digital technologies, one can measure almost anything, but just because they can measure something does not mean they should. The challenge is to count the things that really matter and relate to business success, namely Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- The problem is having the right KPIs. KPIs combined with the latest BI tools provide granular visibility as never seen before. Good KPIs are also quickly measurable and reproducible. Equally, if not more important, all departments across the company should have the same understanding of a particular KPI.
- Focus must also be given to contextualise a KPI. BI tools take the dashboard idea to the next level. Beyond simple reporting, they offer trend analysis, forecasting, what-if scenarios and have the power to drill down to the deepest level of detail to analyse each transaction.
Data Literacy it’s not a skillset; it’s a mindset
- A shift needs to happen with regards to how people see data visualisation, reporting, and analytics. In many organisations today, people use analytics, but they use it because they have to for meetings, reports, audits, etc., things that are more of a chore than something they do for themselves. People must learn to recognise data and analytics as a chance to enhance their everyday work lives.
- Insight-driven decision-making is therefore not simply implemented on a technology level but needs to be anchored in a companys culture. The term that combines the upskilling (knowing how to use tools and how and when to use which data or visualisation) and the mindset shift is called Data Literacy. And just like general literacy, the ability to read, work with, analyse, and argue with data should become second nature to people in a data-driven company at every level.
- The best way to get started with this is to pick an area of need, find early adopters, and generate results.
“A shift needs to happen with regards to how people see data visualisation, reporting, and analytics.”