4 Areas You Can Improve Today with Operational Analytics
Data Operations

4 Areas You Can Improve Today with Operational Analytics

Graham Girty
Graham Girty

Having the right data is great, but how much more could you improve your business if you had access to real-time data?

As its name suggests, operational analytics is focused on measuring business operations, and its main purpose is helping users streamline and improve efficiency. In order to do all that, it makes use of data analysis and intelligence gathering, which may be supported by data mining, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Basically, it’s all about trying to understand how a business operates so that improvements can be made quickly and easily whenever necessary. The key thing about operational analytics is that it must be conducted in as close to real time so that businesses can monitor their day-to-day activities and pinpoint exactly where the inefficiencies lie.

While your company may already be collecting data and using it for analysis, there is still a key question to ask yourself: Do you have enough data to begin remedying all your existing pain points?

If you do, here are four ways that operational analytics can help you improve your business.

1. Create Better Customer Experiences

No matter what your product might be, understanding your customer is vital. In order to deliver the ideal experience, you must be able to track how they are interacting with your product.

If you have a deeper understanding of their habits and preferences, you will have more opportunities to engage with them in more personalized ways. This would be especially useful for your product, sales, and marketing teams.

For example, you could combine customer activity on your website or app with data from other channels, such as support tickets and social media, to figure out when a customer might churn. Since operational analytics enables this to be done as it is happening, you will be able to take preventive measures immediately.

You could also use the information that you’ve gathered to develop new product features. Since you are in the know on what your customers are talking about and how they feel about your product, you can use this data as a guide for continuous improvement.

On top of that, this information can be harnessed for sales and marketing. You will be able to craft marketing messages tailored to your ideal customer — featuring the exact product they are looking at the exact time they are looking for it.

By making recommendations for features that are already on their radar, you not only increase revenue, but you can also reduce acquisition costs.

2. Make More Accurate Performance Forecasts

Operational analytics gives your business intelligence processes a boost. Traditionally, the process involves collecting and processing data before analysis is conducted. Only then can findings be distributed to the relevant individuals or departments in an organization.

As the world becomes more fast-paced, this delay means that by the time forecasts are made, there is less lead time for preventive action or a delay in implementation of new strategies.

Getting this data in real time means that businesses are able to visualize business performance right now while also seeing immediate historical data. It provides a much more accurate view and, thus, makes forecasting more accurate.

This would allow your business to set better goals faster, which in turn leads to faster execution. In competitive industries, this might give you that edge you need to pull ahead of your competitors.

3. Troubleshoot Your Problems Faster

Since operational analytics allows you to have a bird's-eye view of your business as it is running, you can predict issues before they happen — or fix them immediately when they occur. This is especially valuable for businesses that have continuously running systems, such as those in the manufacturing or media streaming industries.

You could use operational analytics to see, for example, when your machines might be performing at below-optimal levels and conduct preventive maintenance before they break down completely.

Or if you’re running a SaaS company, using operational analytics could give you a heads-up if your service is not performing as it should. You would then have a better opportunity to fix the issue before your users become aware of it.

In businesses where downtime can lead to massive losses, operational analytics allows you to have a better awareness of when this might possibly occur so that you can take action to prevent it from occurring.

And even when prevention is not possible, you would still be able to identify the issues faster and fix them before the losses increase even further.

4. Make Data-Driven Decisions

Traditionally, business decision makers would only become aware of problems or opportunities on an annual or quarterly basis. Decisions are then, by nature, made reactively. And the results of those decisions are only reviewed in the next quarter or year. This is highly inefficient and such backward-looking decision-making can cause companies to lose revenue and miss out on growth opportunities.

On the other hand, there are often times when decisions have to be made immediately. But decision makers lack the data they need and the full visibility to understand all the angles. Because it's the only option, they end up relying on incomplete or outdated information or go by gut instinct. And this is no way to make good decisions.

Fortunately, there is another way. Operational analytics allows for data-driven decisions to be made in real time. This way, leaders can immediately make adjustments to goals, processes and workflows — and then respond to issues quickly and confidently with accurate data to support their decisions.

Operational analytics also gives you the ability to take people out of the decision making process altogether. Forward-thinking companies will try to understand the inputs and parameters they used to make business decisions, codifying their decision-making process into scripts that run on an automated basis. In this way, you can guarantee that decisions are constantly being made on behalf of your business.

Improve Your Business with Operational Analytics

There are many other ways to use operational analytics, but these examples seek to show you how this powerful tool can help you improve your workflows, troubleshooting, and customer experiences.

To conduct operational analytics at scale, you need to collect data more efficiently and action on the data you already have. This is the step to help uncover key insights necessary to start making better decisions and increase revenue.

If your company is ready to implement operational analytics, Shipyard can help. To start, simply sign up for our free developer plan. You can immediately begin to build, monitor, and share your data workflows that help operationalize your business data.

About Shipyard:
Shipyard is a modern data orchestration platform for data engineers to easily connect tools, automate workflows, and build a solid data infrastructure from day one.

Shipyard offers low-code templates that are configured using a visual interface, replacing the need to write code to build data workflows while enabling data engineers to get their work into production faster. If a solution can’t be built with existing templates, engineers can always automate scripts in the language of their choice to bring any internal or external process into their workflows.

The Shipyard team has built data products for some of the largest brands in business and deeply understands the problems that come with scale. Observability and alerting are built into the Shipyard platform, ensuring that breakages are identified before being discovered downstream by business teams.

With a high level of concurrency and end-to-end encryption, Shipyard enables data teams to accomplish more without relying on other teams or worrying about infrastructure challenges, while also ensuring that business teams trust the data made available to them.

For more information, visit www.shipyardapp.com or get started for free.