Getting up to speed with a digital, fast-moving marketplace requires modern data analysis tools. Today’s analytic tools are more flexible and user-friendly to promote a collaborative approach toward utilising company data to your best advantage. Even moderately sized companies will have a diverse set of user skills and business operations.

Data analysis software can be expensive, but going for the most affordable options may not provide the support and full functionality you expect. Taking the time to evaluate your choices will ensure that they provide the best value. The more easily and completely a robust product can be integrated with existing systems, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits.

Analysis workflow

Presuming data warehouses are in place and efficiently designed, modern analytic needs follow a basic cycle of user demand. While IT may provide the infrastructure, business users, in general, will navigate the data analysis process. Data solutions may require varying levels of training and adjustment, but selecting the right data tools should involve their potential for delivering high levels of satisfaction in each phase of the data flow.

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Accessibility

Many organisations are used to deploying data analysis tools from a top-down approach where IT not only provides the support but delivers analysis as a service to interested parties. Today, the trend is more toward self-service BI. The IT department must still provide an efficient data structure with accurate and timely content, but it is the end users who are empowered to access and explore this data to perform their own analyses.

Users who are able to ask their own questions and discover the answers both ease the burden on IT and facilitate faster business decisions. As user expertise and knowledge increases, executives gain greater confidence in the conclusions that are drawn. Your choice of data analysis platforms should provide IT with control and scalability while allowing end users transparency and flexibility in using their own information.

Interaction

Interactive components are really an aspect of accessibility, but a vital feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. Interactive data visualisations in reporting tools or dashboard infographics can allow users to more easily encapsulate and understand data while giving the opportunity to drill down to a greater level of detail for more precise investigation. The ability to interact with the data not only leads to better understanding of the information that’s available, but it makes data analysis more interesting and engaging so that users are encouraged to explore and utilise company data more often.

Interactivity provides opportunities to engage with the data in a way that allows the user to better understand it. The added knowledge and symbolic touch and feel make data visualisation not only fun but more efficient. This efficiency, in turn, leads to being analysis and the results for which your company is looking.

Analysis and discovery

Analysis can cover a wide variety of needs and methods. It’s essential that data analysis tools provide the flexibility to accommodate additional options beyond simple reporting. Data visualisations for monitoring performance and statistical or predictive analysis for exploring market segments are common tasks but involve different approaches. Data discovery will lead to new theories and questions. Even users with basic skills and responsibilities are going to occasionally have more complex needs. Though it may require some additional training or support, the BI tools you deploy should allow them a wider spectrum of options.

Training on how to use different analytics tool is beneficial on multiple levels as well. Though some people have a natural ability to use different analysing options there are always things that can be hidden from even the most intelligent user. These pieces of training can bring to light new tips and tricks that will allow every user the ability to grow and to add on to their knowledge base. This creates a more effective workforce that can lead to better results. Ultimately, this will deliver more value to the company.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Today, data analysis tools are typically web-based to provide central storage ” hashtags=”Datasharing, Storage”]

Data sharing

Sharing information within a company once meant delivery by email or formal presentations with hard copies or slide shows. Today, data analysis tools are typically web-based to provide central storage and availability to anyone with a browser and the right permissions. Your applications should also allow granting other users permissions for copying or editing, version tracking, and export to a range of formats such as PDF or spreadsheets. This provides more opportunity for collaboration and discussion among team members or across departments, such as providing accurate information to customer service in order to improve customer satisfaction

In addition, this collaboration can also foster a better working environment where people feel free to share their opinions. This allows for various solutions to different types of problems and allows people to learn from what other people have already done in the past.

Data governance

There are numerous approaches to data management. Each business will have different requirements on the spectrum of required controls. Sensitive customer information or valuable intellectual property must be secured. Regulatory requirements for healthcare and other industries require tracking who has access to what information, and when and how it’s used. It’s essential that your choice of data analysis tools includes mechanisms for establishing access permissions, user logs, and auditing data interactions.

The transition from cumbersome and highly technical business analysis tools to more user-friendly solutions is well under way. Modern BI platforms provide a number of advantages, but it’s essential that every product is evaluated in terms of how well it serves your business goals. Do an audit of different BI platforms and what they offer. Shop around to find out which one will meet your needs and help to grow your company.