In today’s fast paced, hyper-connected and digitised world, the ability to make quick, accurate decisions has never been more crucial. However recent findings from the EIU showed that nine out of ten corporate executives admitted to making important decisions on the basis of inadequate information. A reliance on legacy systems and outdated processes, combined with time-consuming analytics, often means that when it comes to the crunch, business leaders are dealing with out-of-date, incomplete, or difficult to access information.
The very best solutions enable businesses to analyse large quantities of data from virtually any source, in real time. But with a whole host of other solutions on the market promising to expedite improved decision-making, it’s vital that businesses seek the necessary advice to distinguish between them. Some are, in essence, basic dashboards masquerading as something else entirely, while a genuine platform will instil both speed and accuracy in the processes throughout the business.
So what should organisations look for when identifying solutions, and what are the key benchmark features against which their capabilities should be judged?
Users should be able to process millions of records in seconds. Not only does this ensure that the data analysed is up-to-the minute, real time data, but the speed of the analysis itself facilitates faster decision-making, providing that all important competitive edge. For example, SAP HANA runs 3600 times faster than traditional SQL platforms, enabling unprecedented levels of data to be processed seemingly effortlessly.
It is vital that ad-hoc views can be created quickly and easily, without the user needing to know where the data sits. They should be able to ask any question using familiar business terminology and the relevant, timely data is made available for analysis.
Interactive analysis tools, such as simulation and pattern recognition, are crucial in allowing users to uncover trends, predict behaviours and anticipate outcomes more precisely than ever before. Be it calculating cash forecasts, forecasting sales figures or predicting required equipment maintenance, an organisation should be able to access a full vision of the future for the business. It’s only with this kind of foresight that businesses are able to make proactive decisions, implementing future-proof business plans and staying one step ahead of the competition.
The best applications bypass any need for data preparation, pre-aggregates or tuning, resulting in a significant reduction in complexity for a more valuable outcome. Through speeding up data-intensive processes, organisations can accelerate the value that’s delivered from IT throughout the organisation.
Real time visibility of the entire organisation, integrating all data to build a comprehensive view of the whole business, is crucial. While many systems promise to facilitate this, very few can genuinely deliver.
With the right solution in place, gone are the days of looking at outdated figures or waiting for reports to run. Maximum visibility of the organisation at all times, and without delays, is the only way to ensure that intelligent, informed decisions, based on hard facts and precise figures, are par for the course.
Find out more about SAP HANA, a powerful in-memory platform that can help your business unleash the potential of big data.