Democratising data: Unlocking business insight with Data Transformation and Prescriptive Analytics

It is no longer a shock to hear that we are living in a world driven by data, and its importance as a strategic asset has grown exponentially in recent years

Many businesses have recognised that using data as a strategic asset can lead to growth, with leading organisations using insights obtained from data to navigate everything from customer experience to workforce management to revenue growth. These insights have become so valuable, that we are now seeing businesses competing against each other for this information, and those that don’t have access to it are quickly falling behind.

The trouble is that collecting and analysing raw data in large quantities has traditionally been left to those with specialist skillsets, making it a fairly inaccessible resource for those not trained in data science. As a result, demand for these skills is rising; the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 Future of Jobs Report revealed Data Analysts and Scientists to be the top job roles in growing demand across industries. This skills shortage means that data specialists come at a cost that not all business can afford.

So, does this mean that data-driven organisations can only be those with strong financial clout? Thankfully not.

Cloud is helping to democratise data capabilities so that organisations of all sizes can utilise its power. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) – which are more readily available and affordable than ever before – are helping those without the existing talent in place to do the data navigation themselves. This accessibility creates vast opportunities across all business functions. One string to this bow is data transformation, which is the process of converting data from one format to another. This could be, for example, transforming tables of raw data into a more usable format that can be easily digested, or changing the data type so it can be compared and combined.

Data transformation not only results in secure data that is accessible to all business functions, but also enriches it so that it becomes more valuable to organisations – powering advanced business intelligence. Additionally, data transformation helps organisations who are making this transition, enabling them to transfer data from their legacy IT to the cloud. Data transformation tools can help organisations to benefit from both Descriptive and Predictive Analytics – but it’s Prescriptive Analytics that is the real game-changer.

Prescriptive Analytics takes analysis to the next level, applying organisations’ data-insights to the decision-making process. Data can be used to drive scenario modelling, which helps businesses to make informed decisions that will optimise their processes and everyday operations. In many ways, this is easier for smaller organisations that are generally more agile and able to implement rapid change.

A further benefit of Prescriptive Analytics is that it enables businesses to more accurately validate data. As a result, you’re left with a higher quality of data which is protected from everything from null values and unexpected duplications, to incorrect indexing and incompatible formats.

Prescriptive Analytics allows you to predict and prescribe the future. To use the typical analogy that ‘data is the new oil’, Prescriptive Analytics is about using the oil correctly, to drive your organisation to lead in your markets..

Many organisations have failed in their approach to data by taking a more historical approach to it, and taking what they believe to be short cuts to save on costs. But yet it’s an upfront investment that is much more likely to save you costs in the long run, and stop your project from collapsing.

Game-changing concepts like data transformation and prescriptive analytics should not be seen as an off-the-shelf implement and done solution; choosing a strategic partner that is there to work with you and to provide always-on support and thought leadership is of the upmost importance.


About the Author

Claranet are experts in modernising and running critical applications, data and infrastructure. Claranet is a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP and Gold Partner, AWS Premier Consulting and Managed Service Partner, and Google Premier Partner, helping enterprises transform and modernise, wherever they are on their Cloud journey.