The industries we work in – insurance and banking – are probably the most process-driven and metric-focused businesses of today. Every action must result in a quantifiable metric, which are then collated and presented day in and day out to understand the business performance and direction.
Being process driven is good. It brings structure to an otherwise mind boggling set of rules and regulations that govern these businesses. While on one hand processes streamline operations and bring structure, on the other hand they also introduce a certain lag in decision making.
Decision makers at all levels rely on reports or a basic business intelligence approach to be able to chart out the next course of action. Generating a report may involve culling out data from a data warehouse, populating a predefined template and pushing it out to the stakeholders. All dependent on the designed process.
Consequently, intelligence at the point of decision is not available.These reports could take a few hours to a few days to be generated.
The ‘point of decision’ can be defined as that absolute moment in the lifecycle of evaluation, when a decision has to be made.
A lot of enterprises confuse this form of reporting (or business intelligence) with advanced analytics. They couldn’t be further off in their judgement. Don’t get us wrong, reporting is GREAT for businesses which have a predictable trajectory.
But, reporting / BI is not equal to Analytics.
So what differentiates advanced reporting / BI from analytics?
Maybe these 5 guidelines?
1. Analytics is available at the point of decision.
That means you have the data points, with projections, as and when you need it. And wherever you need it. Period.
2. Analytics is problem-driven, whereas reporting is process-driven.
Still getting those Monday morning reports on customer churn, with no next steps to control it or any insights? Yep, you’re probably doing reporting and not analytics.
3. Analytics is pull-based.
So the focus is the user’s requirements. Reporting/ BI have been traditionally push based.
4. Analytics can take into account ALL data sources.
Yes that’s right. Not only what resides in your warehouses, but also what comes in from multiple channels like social media, credit bureaus, newswires and what not! Analytics can work with structured and unstructured data with ease.
5. UnTemplatize with Analytics
Since Analytics is more or less on demand, it doesn’t make sense to have a fixed template. Sure there are dashboards, and there is a structure, but it is completely customizable on the go.
Today, machines are generating more data than manual entry. So the data sets today have moved from being just large data sets to big data sets. The sooner organizations move from being reports driven to ‘point of decision’ smarts, the sooner they will be able to better leverage their own data, and their resources time.
There is a Powerpoint version of the above here – http://www.slideshare.net/AureusAnalytics/point-of-decision-analytics-in-insurance.