Whether you’re using one, two or all five business analytics approaches, the technologies are capable of much more than the delivery of reports.
The focus of most organisations for the last 10 years has been on creating data warehouses to bring together widespread, disparate data so that it can be augmented, cleansed and distributed through reports that use simple, descriptive statistics. Reporting has evolved to allow people to interactively navigate, visualise and find patterns in data. This evolution includes self-service access to information and is driven by a hunger for information that shows no signs of diminishing. Meeting this growing information demand is an ongoing challenge.
Today, there is an additional architectural consideration – the need to enable automated or semi-automated decision making within business processes. In these cases, the architecture must support not just human decision making but also provide information to downstream operational systems or customer touch points. Simply put, the objective of business analytics is to support better decisions in your organisation.
There are essentially five styles of business analytics that are being embraced by organisations in all industries. No matter which style(s) you use today, consider the other styles when planning architectural changes to meet future business and IT needs. For example, an emerging requirement is big data, driving a need for more performant analytics, which in turn leads to the need for more automation and intelligence in decision making. These styles can affect your needs at the business, application, data and technical levels. Assessing your required styles of business analytics will be valuable when making any changes to your architecture.