The Future of Data – Predictive Business

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The world is changing rapidly when it comes to technology.  We’ve said it before but that is because it is true.  According to Brian Solis in “The Future of Business,” over the past 10 years, 40% of Fortune 500 companies have been replaced.  What does this mean?  It means that some businesses haven’t kept up with the ever-changing consumer marketplace and have failed to adapt successful business models to suit their new, more demanding, customer base.  So what are businesses to do?  How do they keep up in this cutthroat competitive environment that is fueled by the technology empowered highly demanding customer?

Businesses have to create strategies around the areas of technology that matter most, which, according to TechNewsWorld, are big data, cloud computing, and mobility.  Businesses can no longer afford to just be adopting the latest and greatest solutions to deal with big data, cloud computing and mobility, but rather they need to be thinking three steps ahead as to what they can do differently, to change the playing field.

So what about data.  After all, the title of our blog is “The Future of Data…” so that is the what we are going to focus on when it comes to the future of business.  Lately, discussion has been around data collection and data tracking, as we wrote about in our last blog.  Data collection is one thing, and new tools and software solutions have been developed to make data collection easier, on a larger scale.  But what businesses do with that data is another thing entirely.  After all, what good is knowing your customers’ email addresses if you don’t email them. That’s where predictive business comes into play.

Predicting the future, are we ready to do that?  Better yet, are businesses ready to do that?  After all, they can’t exactly call Dr. Emmett Brown to show them the way.  But the short answer is yet.  And it isn’t just a suggestion, it’s a must.  But how?  By analyzing your data to suit your business needs and more importantly, your customer needs.  By deciphering buying patterns and decisions using the data you already have.  By picking out anomalies, disruptions and data errors.  And most importantly, by using your current data and trends to tell what is coming next.

But don’t get ahead of yourself.  According to the CMO of SAP Cloud in a TechWorldNews Podcast:

I want to be clear here that the predictive business isn’t just about advanced analytics. It’s not just about Big Data. That’s certainly a part of it, but just knowing something is going to happen, just knowing about a market opportunity or a pending risk just isn’t enough. 

You have to have that capacity and insight to assess a myriad of scenarios to detect the right course of action, and then have the agility in your business processes, your organizational structures, and your systems to be able to adapt to capitalize on these changes.

And while big data is only a part of the puzzle that will drive leading companies to success, and more than likely replace a larger percent of the current Fortune 500, it is worth getting a hold of now.   According to a Gartner survey, 64% of organizations have invested, or plan to invest in big data in 2013.  You don’t want to be left behind.  Your data strategy will drive your predictive business success.  The more of a foundation you have now, the more success you will have later on.

After all, the future of data is predictive business.  Because without making use of the data to delight customers and enhance business processes, that is all it is; data.  Make sure you are making the most of yours.  In the meantime, keep your data organized and compliant by implementing an easy, user-friendly data audit log to audit all your systems’ data.

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