The business environment has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Consumers seek immediate information and results, forcing organizations to adapt in real-time speed. To deliver, enterprises must now harness the power of big data and predictive analytics, gaining a clearer understanding of what is going on in their business, as well as within their industry. Such information paints a bigger picture, allowing for management teams to make more informed business decisions, setting themselves up for long-term success.
Because of its immediacy, real-time analytics offers great advantages over other strategies. Today, we’ll examine a few of those benefits. But first, let’s clearly define real-time analytics and what it means to your business.
What Exactly is Real-Time Data?
Forrester defines real-time data management as: “Integration of a diverse set of structured and unstructured data from internal and external sources that delivers an agile platform to support faster insights, high-performance transactional capabilities, and predictive analytics.” In essence, real-time data analytics combines and analyzes information to ensure the right decisions are made to ensure quality service at the right time and place.
“I think everything — manufacturing, inventory, shipping — is getting the world to the point where you are measuring what you’re supposed to be delivering every day. To me that’s just with everything; the competitive edge is just about speed and accuracy. We can’t outspend all of our competitors, but we can certainly outspeed them with real-time data; that’s our competitive advantage.” -(Director of IT, retailer, North America)
Forrester goes on to explain that there are two categories of real-time analytics:
- On-demand analytics – This real-time information allows for more reactive decisions. The end-user processes a data request and results are delivered accordingly.
- Continuous analytics – Continuous real-time informationprovides users with updates, so management teams can take a more proactive approach.
Harnessing the power of real-time data means aligning with the right business solutions, analyzing the business from every angle. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Does your company culture foster employee engagement? Does the facility operate at optimal levels? Does it support both short and long-term goals? While implementing such strategies was once limited to global enterprises, business solutions and software are now available to organizations of every size and industry.
How Your Business Can Benefit From Real-Time Data
Enhances Processes & Supports Collaboration
As organizations face the ever-evolving challenges that come with emerging technologies and new generations entering the workforce, those who wish to remain relevant must improve on business procedures. Studies indicate that a disengaged workforce significantly reduces productivity and increases costs associated with churn. Empowering and engaging the workforce is directly linked to reducing such costs. To achieve these goals, enterprises must focus on creating an agile culture that supports innovation and collaboration. Proper business tools must be implemented, and data should be collected from both employees and consumers. The results? Improved processes, an increase in productivity, and positive bottom-line growth.
A Deeper Understanding of How Your Facility Operates
To achieve the aforementioned results, it is imperative that you understand where you currently stand and how you arrived. Real-time data assists Facilities Management teams in identifying space and tangible assets, how these assets are being used, and what changes can be implemented for future growth. The allocation of space is better managed, and a preventative maintenance strategy can be implemented to ensure the facility is operating at maximum level. The result – a reduction in downtime and organizational expenses and a fully engaged and productive workforce.
Implementing Predictive Strategies
Historically, FM teams have had to rely on antiquated business tools, forced to take a more reactive approach to managing the facility. Technology now offers the tools and data to predict issues before they occur and implement predictive strategies accordingly. While managing the unpredicted will always be a component of running a facility, these predictive strategies significantly reduce the magnitude and regularity of such occurrences. The result – management teams are able analyze what-if scenarios, leading to a reduction in downtime and, ultimately, increases the bottom-line.
So, why should you or your company consider real-time analytics? Quite simply, the ability to analyze and use relevant data is what drives productivity and connectivity amongst your workforce and even your clients. Gathering data through the various methods discussed in this article allows companies to make changes or adjustments proactively and less reactionary. The work flow increases, employee engagement is refined, and the entire organization is able to function with purpose and specific guidance. And with technology improving exponentially, the machines and methods are constantly becoming more powerful and simultaneously more user-friendly. See how this new team member can be a boon for your organization and harness the power of your data.