​Operational analytics… Is it the next big thing for business?

“Operational analytics is not a totally new phenomenon, but rather an evolution in the larger analytics story.”

While data analytics can deliver insights that organisations can use to improve their business operations, traditional analytics has its limitations.

For example, it makes sense when solving high-value problems, but is rarely scalable for the small decisions businesses make every day.

“Operational analytics is the answer,” claims Alec Gardner, general manager, advanced analytics A/NZ, Teradata.

Involving the process of analysing data with the goal of improving existing business operations, Gardner believes operational analytics consists of more than “simply applying traditional batch analytics” to operational problems, and offers more than “just single-use insights”.

Going forward, Gardner has identified three key traits that make operational analytics a better fit for organisations’ day-to-day activities.

“Take easy access to operational data,” he explains. “Because operational analytics systems are effectively embedded into an organisation’s operational systems, they have easy access to the data required to execute analytics tasks quickly and at scale.

For Gardner operational analytics is fully automated, meaning that, once a new analytics process is approved, it continues to run and make decisions until somebody explicitly turns it off.

“This trait gives organisations an ongoing measure of assurance that their data is being used to improve the business,” adds Gardner, citing the ability to prescribe actions as a further business benefit.

“Operational analytics makes so-called prescriptive analytics possible. Prescriptive analytics not only predicts what might happen, but also prescribes the actions needed to make it happen or prevent it from happening.

“This approach is ideal when human intervention is impossible.”

As Gardner puts it, operational analytics is “not a totally new phenomenon”, but rather an evolution in the larger analytics story.

“It has the potential to change the way we use analytics, with data helping organisations to improve the management of every element of their business all the time,” he adds.

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