Today, the sheer volume of information and documents that need managing is seen as a headache by some professional services firms. Particularly with regulatory compliance placing strict rules on how this data has to be stored and processed. But what if you could capitalise on the power of this information, and use it to give your firm the competitive edge?
While cloud computing will help you to reduce costs, free up cashflow, and increase efficiencies; its potential to improve decision making – and even create opportunities for new revenue streams – is what makes it truly compelling.
What is big data?
Put simply, big data describes the information a business has access to; and which has the potential to be used for discovery and analysis. This includes data from digital and traditional sources. So big data doesn’t have to be huge; in our online age, there is simply more of it.
Big data includes:
- Structured data. Information that is easy to organise (e.g. data that can be held in a straightforward, searchable database).
- Unstructured data. Information assets that aren’t easy to interpret or store in a traditional database. For example text-heavy documents, social media posts, etc. Currently, unstructured data takes up over 80% of all installed storage capacity and is continuing to grow.
- Multi-structured data. Data stemming from interactions between people and machines. This can take a variety of formats.
Big data and business intelligence
The ability to harness big data leads to improved performance at all levels of your organisation. So, firms that are not yet using software to provide them with the most up to date and accurate data, from multiple data sources are likely to fall behind.
Here are just some of the ways you can use business intelligence software to take full advantage of your data:
- Improve decision making with access to real-time and accurate data, from multiple data sources (e.g. databases, spreadsheets, cloud sources, etc.)
- Filter and analyse a wide-range of data quickly and easily
- Access interactive visual dashboards
- Tailor reports and analytics to match each individual’s specific role and needs
- Access from anywhere – including via mobile devices – so employees have everything they need, as and when they need it
- Discover trends and insights to optimise the performance of each element of your business
- Scale analytics software to meet your requirements.
Barriers to business intelligence (and what to do about them)
There are three key barriers when it comes to getting the most out of your firm’s available information:
- Fragmented storage. Firms often have data stored in many different places. Often using a wide variety of software, apps, programs, and servers. In many cases, historical data has never been integrated with new storage methods.
- Departmental silos. Different departments are often reluctant to share their data (or don’t know how to) with the rest of the business. But when it comes to effective data management, such silos are stopping big data from reaching its full potential. And, ultimately, harming your firm.
- Not understanding the different needs of a business. When it comes to analysing any business data, a one size fits all approach just won’t cut it. Instead, firms need to have access to different analytics for employees with diverse skills and roles.
In response, firms must do more to not only figure out what data they have, but also to put in place a data management solution that consolidates all this valuable information. Once done, the next step is ensuring this data is shared across the business via personalised reports and analytics.
The hosted desktop and business intelligence
With a hosted desktop, all the files and data you require are instantly available. All you need is a computer (including mobile devices) and an internet connection. This means users can access intelligent business data from any device, even if they aren’t in the office. So, by bringing together processes and data, the hosted desktop delivers enhanced management information in real-time. This can lead to more informed decision making, and even create opportunities for new revenue streams.
At Cloud Geeni, our business intelligence software will provide you with all the information that you require, tailored to your unique requirements. This allows everyone to understand the data, share insights, and make more informed decisions. To find out how we can help you – while protecting your client and business data – speak to a member of our team on 01942 263 434 today.