How Business Analysts Can Leverage Big Data

For some, using technology in the business setting is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the use of computers has simplified tasks and sped up the delivery of outputs. While it does make tasks easier, technology pushes businesses to do more, coming up with big plans at the soonest time possible. This is where business analysts enter the picture.

In truth, churning out solutions isn’t an easy process for a business analyst, given that technology has made competition tighter in their industry. Information can be accessed at the speed of a search engine, and social media has made market research a gauge on the “vitality” of things. Big data analytics is the golden ticket that can aid business analysts in fashioning sound strategies for their clientele – all while outdoing their peers.

Improve Business Systems

It is common knowledge that business analysts are instruments of change. Business analysis is defined as the task of identifying the needs of a new or changing business, and presenting appropriate solutions for the given needs, which take into account potential risks, resources and complications.  In order to generate solutions, they need access to internal facts and figures and ample time to study the data.

Like chess, business happens to be a game of strategy. A company may offer superior service, but if a competitor consistently provides its targeted segments with decent outputs in a timely manner, it can gain a bigger share of the market. Big data can help analysts in this department. Through big data analytics, they can collate and present scores of pertinent information, which could address the actual needs of the business such as fixing its supply chain or switching suppliers, and its potential customers.

The speed of big data analytics buys an analyst a lot of time to come up with solutions and discuss their merits with the organization’s stakeholders. In addition, big data can be presented graphically to further bolster an analyst’s projections and propositions. As a result, the newly refocused organization can swiftly gain a bigger share of the market before the competition does.

In Depth Market Analysis via Deep Learning

A business may seem to be doing pretty well based on its monthly returns, but a large portion of the captive market could be using alternative or competitor products.  A little research and analysis could yield the cause for this.  However, coming up with the right strategies to address this takes a lot of planning and research. Big data analytics simplifies this process.

An advanced data platform – reinforced by advanced algorithms called Deep Learning – is capable of collating huge and various data sets pertaining to the exact interests and preferences of the captive market. Additionally, it can deduce patterns on consumer behavior and even predict its future needs.  An organization can then tailor its products and processes in accordance to the insights, facts and figures pointed out by the platform. This will make the business analyst’s job much easier.

Concurrently, Deep Learning can also work wonders on the frameworks of businesses. By setting the right parameters, it can measure the performance of employees and departments as well as allow decision makers to thoroughly observe an organization’s cash flow.

Analysts will have a clear view on all the items that the company spends money on. The organization can tweak or even eliminate steps in the business process that aren’t deemed feasible. Cheap tech solutions, such as specialized software or free open source programs online, may be suggested as worthwhile alternatives. For instance, programs like Trello and SteelBrick can organize tasks and provide professional sales quotes, respectively.

Advanced Analytics Platforms are Analysts Themselves

Some big data platforms actually perform a good part of a business analyst’s job – which is to provide information-based solutions. Apart from aggregating information, they can study the data and deduce facts on their own. Rigged with natural intelligence, the solutions generated by the platform improve as more data surrounding the subject is entered. It learns as it goes along.

Of course, in leveraging big data, the results and parameters need be set beforehand, but it certainly eases the load on an analyst’s plate. Analysts, in turn, can craft a system out of the interconnected insights gathered or at least make significant improvements in the existing business infrastructure.

Externally, the platform can be programmed to predict trends that will influence people to spend or act in a certain way, say, the prediction of crime or inferring if a customer is pregnant. This gives a business analyst more than enough information to effectively steer an organization towards its goals or even take on bigger targets, if necessary.

The Ability to Ask the Right Questions

Through data analytics, certain facts about the business will be brought to light. A business analyst can sieve through the data and extract the information relevant to a proposed strategy. The right questions can then be fielded to the top decision makers in regard to the company’s direction, the limits to proposed changes, options for streamlining the supply chain, and the like.

Big data analytics paves the way for a deeper understanding of business data, which translates to the creation of viable strategies.

Embracing the Paradigm Shift

The current popularity of big data is gradually redefining the role and responsibilities of a business analyst. Before, analysts were obliged to create improved business systems, conduct market analysis and increase profitability. Nowadays the basic functions of a data scientist have been added to that definition. Pretty soon, they could be put in strategy-based or managerial roles, which potentially raises their salary and job grade.

According to Robert Half’s Salary Guide in 2014, the average salary of a business analyst manager in finance and accounting increased by 4.3% from the previous year, while the starting salary of business intelligence analysts rose by 7.4%.

In truth, a lot of big companies have caught on with the big data trend, which could put a business analyst in a bind. The act of producing data is “going out of style,” as more corporations are hiring professionals engaged in serving actionable insights. This phenomenon has redefined the competitive advantage for business analysts. This paradigm shift is already happening and business analysts need to embrace it to survive in the industry.

The good news is the current surge of big data brings forth a higher demand for business analysts, since they can define the different data needs of a business, help owners make informed decisions, improve reporting, and map data elements and their sources. As such, this pushes analysts to work with more advanced and efficient data platforms in an effort to impress clients and gain an edge over competitors.

Analysts can rely on innovative consulting firms like lloopp, which are steeped in big data and deep learning. The big data platforms are equipped with the latest in digital genomics, effectively mimicking the human brain in deducing facts and generating insights. Working with these companies can instantly up the value of a business analyst in any industry.

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