Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Business Analytics – The holy grail of running a successful business

Running a successful business is all about taking better and timely decisions. How can you improve the quality and speed of decision making? There are two ways. First you can rely on your gut or experience and be right 1 out of 10 times. Second you can analyze the huge volumes of data available to you and answer questions like – what is going on? Why are things the way they are? How can I improve performance? The odds in this case are being right 9 out of 10 times. Any reasonable, analytical person will choose the latter option unless you rely on your gut to take decisionsJ. Isn’t this what is taught at the business schools worldwide – Taking better decisions based on insights drawn from using analytical tools. So, in support of the title of this blog – running a successful business is all about taking better decisions and analytics can help you take better decisions hence analytics is the holy grail of running a successful business.

Now, what exactly is business analytics? Business Analytics answers a broad range of questions from what is going on in my business? To why are things the way they are? To how can I achieve desired business results? From a capability perspective analytics include broad capabilities from reporting which answers what is going on to ad-hoc query, statistical analysis, data mining which answer why are things the way they are to scorecards, budgeting, planning and financial analytics which answer how can I achieve desired results.  Sounds complex – no it’s not provided you take a balanced approach. Start small with something easy like reporting and grow and mature your analytical capabilities over time. Of course the trick here is to choose an analytical platform the various components of which fit together as Lego blocks.

This is where Oracle’s business analytics solutions can help. From BI Publisher for reporting to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition for query, reporting and analysis to Oracle Essbase for OLAP, scenario modeling and forecasting to Oracle Real Time Decisions for real time decision management to Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management for defining, communicating and measuring business objectives to Oracle database’s data mining and analytics capabilities to Oracle Exadata – Oracle’s database and data warehouse appliance with hardware and software engineered to work together, Oracle offers a complete portfolio of capabilities for end to end analytics. A tight metadata integration across the entire portfolio combined with scalability, reliability and manageability ensures that the platform delivers the best ROI for lowest TCO.

Net net, Oracle’s modular, Lego block like analytics platform can help you start small and grow as business grows to achieve the holy grail of running a successful business.

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