Data, the new ‘Horoscope’
Data is information. Information is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Therefore, data is power.
But what is the use of having so much data, and nothing to do with it? This is akin to having a library with a million and one books, but not having anyone, including yourself, to read the books.
So our theory that information is power is going to morph into something more sensible. More like ‘sharing information is power’. Which checks out with the analogy of the library, because it means that if you have readers,not only will your knowledge about them increase, but also knowledge from your books will be distributed.
Such is the impact of data. Knowledge of your customers not only gives one insight on what or where to improve and optimize in one’s business, but it also ensures customer satisfaction. This also means that one can predict what one’s customers want well ahead of time just by observing the trends.
Business intelligence is therefore well suited for any type of business because knowing one’s customers will put you ahead of your competition and also, will likely give you pointers on where and how to optimize your operations for maximum business returns.
What is Analytics?
Analytics is coordinated computational analysis of data using mathematics, computer programming or statistics to identify useful patterns or insights.
Data patterns can be used to describe, predict and improve business performance. There are many uses of analytics including but not limited to portfolio analytics: this may be used by banks to balance between risk and value before lending loans, marketing optimization: to determine the effectiveness of a marketing strategy, consumer segmentation and others, risk analytics, security analytics etc.
It is the use of analytics to identify and strategically create new business opportunities giving a business an edge of the rest. This improves and rationalizes the process of business decision making and to an extent alleviates the human tendency of unconscious bias.
More and more companies worldwide are taking the data driven approach, using what they know to forecast the future, and simulating what-if scenarios using software without having any real physical impact to the company, or its operations, due to the fact that the experimentation is done within a simulated environment. And Kenya has not been left behind.
Comztech recently partnered with APA insurance by implementing the IBM Cognos Dashboards which provides a solution that will help the underwriters gain greater visibility into policies, premiums and loss ratios through enhanced dashboards and reports. The claims managers can now optimize the claims process, minimize losses and increase customer satisfaction by a more agile and expeditious process. Sales managers can better monitor the performance of sales agents through evaluation of policy sales and renewal success rates. All this through the revelation of hidden insights from data. This is expected to translate to improved operational efficiency, and increased customer satisfaction.
Suffice to say, data is the new ‘Horoscope’ for business operations. And as Daniel Keys Moran put it, “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”