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  • Henry Haugland

Give Your Business an MRI

The term “big data” conjures images of clusters of cloud-based servers and squadrons of data analysts and scientists. This might be true for a handful of huge multi-national firms, but it is not relevant for most SMBs. The issue isn’t how much data you have, but the quality of your data and what you do with it. For many companies, the structured and unstructured data in their ERP, finance, and CRM systems, and on their servers, is a goldmine that is usually not tapped.

For smaller companies, the benefits of data analytics can be immediate and the benefits proportionately more significant versus a giant company. SMB leaders can often take immediate action on the “big insights” gained through analytics. Innovative companies are embracing analytics to gain new customer insights, create new revenue streams, improve operational efficiencies and help drive more lasting customer relationships.

Properly architected, an analytics solution for senior leaders will feature interactive, dynamic dashboards that deliver an “MRI” for the entire business. This is particularly valuable for businesses that have multiple products, markets, distribution channels, supply chain elements and geographies. This complexity makes “whole business” visualization mandatory for businesses of all sizes who want to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage.

Unfortunately, in spite of proven advantages, many company leaders assume that big data and analytics is only for huge companies, it’s too costly, too technical, and IT has enough to do. These notions will be costly misperceptions for many.

An analytics solution can help senior leaders understand what is happening and why. Predictive analytics can help them recognize which future outcomes are likely.

We sometimes hear executives who are not trained in computer science lament that anything to do with data analytics must belong in IT. In reality, siloing analytics solutions is very likely to be another costly mistake. A “whole-of-business” approach is essential when it comes to embracing data and using it to drive productivity and strategic gains. IT definitely has a critical role to play in deploying analytics solutions but defining the requirements must be done across the organization. Providing senior leaders with a “Whole Company” MRI is becoming mandatory.


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