Data analytics has helped procurement services weigh the risk of sourcing from particular overseas manufacturers, scrutinize production output, forecast yearly food deliveries and a wealth of other factors.
Analysis is an integral part of every business, but even the sophisticated visualization tools of today can only be used by departmental teams. Empowering the average worker with software capable of scrutinizing unstructured and structured data in real time isn't necessarily feasible.
The uses of the future
However, a future in which even minimum-wage workers are equipped with such tools may not be too far off. Thomas Davenport, a renowned author and contributor to The Wall Street Journal, detailed three generations of data analysis protocols, forecasting a future in which analytics are considered a fundamental part of business practices.
- Analytics 1.0: A generation of tools that could only scrutinize structured, historical data that was produced internally. Models and representations took months to formulate. The task of analyzing information wasn't regarded as essential.
- Analytics 2.0: Programs began processing external, unstructured data. Managed IT services provided Hadoop and open source databases were capable of quickly inputting information. Data scientists were more involved with the business, instead of working behind the scenes.
- Analytics 3.0: In-database and in-memory analytics expedite information processing. Prescriptive and predictive analysis models mature and become a central part of enterprise decision-making. Entire departments are created to support data analysis endeavors.
Above all, Davenport maintained 3.0 will be a combination of its predecessors. Unstructured, structured, internal and external data will all be regarded as a single cohesive data set. It can be imagined these programs will be able to answer more specific questions, as well.
Already at work
Davenport recently spoke at CIO.com's CIO 100 Symposium and Awards ceremony in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, acknowledging how Cisco, Ford, General Electric, Monsanto and a few others are leading the way into Analytics 3.0, the magazine reported. The way they're doing this?
- GE is intends to develop its concept of an "Industrial Internet" through which it can sell predictive maintenance information regarding its jet engines
- Ford envisions a fleet of vehicles possessing multiple sensors that cohesively produce data
- Monsanto wants to create predictive tools for farmers to use to optimize crop yields
Basically, enterprises are leveraging analysis products as additional customer service provisions. Monsanto's development is particularly interesting, at it sanctions the symbiosis of a seemingly anachronistic industry with sophisticated business intelligence programs.
Analytics 3.0 isn't just about a more data-intensive world, it involves putting advanced software in the hands of average consumers.