By Gavin Smith, CEO of element

The traditional approach to business intelligence is struggling to keep up with the demands of today’s data-driven landscape.

Many businesses have populated their operations with the tools and apps needed to maximize the power of technology. Some airlines use more than 30 applications to run their operations. It can be a bit clunky and disjointed but somehow all the separate components seem to work together, until it comes to analyzing the data. The problem is that this singular approach does not work with data, specifically when it comes to analyzing data for the greater good of the business.

There are vast amounts of data swirling around, but the information that adds value and helps businesses make critical decisions sits in data silos.

Many hotels have multiple communication solutions such as voice, web chat Microsoft teams and social media. Communication solutions are complex and rich in data but it’s difficult to manage and understand, especially in isolation. Marketing has an impact on sales, customer support and business finance, among others. Who looks at the overall performance of the business? What’s needed is a 360-degree view of company analysis where we bring in data from any source to provide a complete view across all streams. By consolidating the data across the board, hotels would have the ultimate visibility of their communication functionality. The key metrics would be presented via easy-to-understand reports.

The limitations of traditional data processing and analytics are clear, and an innovative approach is needed. One that can provide real-time, accessible analytics to all people in the company, regardless of technical expertise. This is where the concept of a unified data analytics platform comes in to integrate data processing and analysis and provide a comprehensive view of data across the entire business.

By unifying data analytics, hotels would access and analyze data without the need for specialized training. It would drive innovation and transformation and help identify new business opportunities, optimize operations and improve the customer experience.

Approximately 70 per cent of CEOs today acknowledge their organization needs to become more data driven, while just under 90 per cent of CXOs (Chief Experience Officers) expect a more agile, integrated and data-driven organization within the next five years, according to a recent IDC study. To achieve this, organizations would need to move beyond traditional business intelligence which requires an IT environment and heavy involvement from IT staff. By democratizing this process and making data more consumable with easy analytics tools, information can be handed directly to the business user.

Unified data analytics would provide a more modern architecture and offer new capabilities, such as the ability to use AI models, which are made available across every layer. This opens a wealth of opportunities and introduces key business drivers, such as predictive analytics and ChatGPT.

AI will be able to tell the user in simple language the stats they should be looking at as well as the recommended course of action for the business, crafting it into neat data story-telling presentations.

Other industries, such as technology and retail, are already leveraging unified data analytics to update their data-management processes, reducing manual effort in data preparation by 50 per cent. By analyzing data from various sources, including their mobile app, these businesses are identifying key trends and optimizing their products and promotions. By leveraging machine-learning capabilities, they’re also able to predict failures and proactively address customer complaints.

A recent ITM Buyers event brought up data and their challenges with the current silo approach. Buyers aren’t happy with the accuracy and duplication that they get. They rely on specialized people to deliver the reports they need. And when stakeholders want data, they need to explain that it’s not financial data most of the time. This should not be the case when a unified business analytics approach is used. SME data is taken out of its silos, cleaned and transformed by a non-specialist and delivered into the business analytics tool. The days of relying on a dedicated MI report sent once a month or requiring specialists to deliver ad hoc reports is not how a business consumes and uses the data it has. 


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