How data analytics can empower industries and improve lives
Data is the new oil, and just like oil, data must be refined and processed to be made useful. This is where analytics comes in. It presents a huge opportunity for businesses to make better-informed decisions that drive positive change.
We are living in the age of the fourth Industrial Revolution. And you’ve got to be living under a rock if you haven’t read or heard anything about how data is transforming the world around us.
Data is undoubtedly the most valuable resource known to mankind today. From the devices we use to the apps we download, data is constantly generated and collected—millions of terabytes of data are created each day!
However, what makes data a valuable resource is not the sheer volume of its generation, but the analytics part of it, which offers game-changing abilities to industries and companies—not just large corporations but small and medium-sized businesses as well. Data is the new oil, and just like oil, data must be refined and processed to be made useful.
Of particular interest is the transformative power of data through analytics. It has the ability to reveal patterns and insights that may have previously been hidden. Unfortunately, almost 73% of data that companies generate remains largely unleveraged; only about a third of the data that is created is ever analysed for data-driven outcomes.
Hence, data analytics presents a huge window of opportunity for businesses and organisations to make better-informed decisions that ultimately drive positive change.
Data and analytics are impacting the bottom line
While all companies works hard to improve their bottom line, most of them end up losing between 20% and 30% in revenue due to inefficiencies in processes and workflows. This is where analysing operational data can greatly help.
Enhancing efficiency: Real-time data can be used to track performance, monitor processes, and identify areas for improvement. Bottlenecks, redundancies, and inefficiencies in workflows can be sorted by analysing data on process inputs, outputs, and timing.
Data analysis can also help companies benchmark their processes to industry best practices and identify areas where they can improve. This drives opportunities for optimisation and innovation.
Reducing costs: Predictive analysis can anticipate future demand, identify potential issues, and optimise processes in real time. For example, predictive maintenance can help identify potential equipment failures before they occur, thus preventing costly downtime and reducing maintenance costs. Data-driven technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) can automate processes and reduce labour costs where required.
One can reduce costs on supply chain, energy consumption, and basically every other process by analysing data. One can even negotiate better contracts through data analysis on supplier performance, thereby reducing the cost of raw materials and other inputs.
The list of benefits goes on.
Let’s look at some major sectors where data and analytics are making the maximum impact.
The healthcare industry, the cornerstone of a healthy and thriving society, is undergoing a major transformation with data and analytics. The global healthcare analytics market, in terms of revenue, was estimated to be $27.4 billion in 2022, and it is said to grow at a projected CAGR of 25.7% from 2022 to 2027.
One of the key drivers for the healthcare analytics market is electronic health records, and it is so for good reason. By providing a centralised system for storing and managing patient health information, electronic health records are enabling healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and enhance the overall quality of care.
The integration of healthcare data is a crucial aspect of modern healthcare systems. By consolidating information from diverse sources such as electronic health records and medical devices, healthcare providers can obtain a comprehensive view of a patient’s health status and simplify their work processes.
Data is being used to run predictive analyses to identify patients who are at risk of chronic diseases or conditions and develop precision medicine and targeted and timely interventions to prevent or manage these conditions. Additionally, data and analytics allow remote patient monitoring, which is especially helpful in situations where people cannot come to healthcare centres for regular check-ups.
Healthcare data integration is a critical component of modern healthcare systems. Combining data from disparate sources, such as electronic health records and medical devices, allows healthcare providers to gain a complete picture of patient health and streamline workflows.
Data and analytics impact the financial interests of individuals, thereby improving lives.
Through predictive analysis and blockchain technology, the finance industry is able to improve security and transparency. Banks are exploring the use of blockchain for various use cases such as digital identity, trade finance, and cross-border payments. Machine learning algorithms are being used to analyse large volumes of data in real time to identify suspicious patterns and transactions.
Also, by analysing customer data, financial institutions can identify their customers’ needs and preferences and offer hyper-personalised financial products and services. This allows them to deliver a better customer experience and build customer loyalty.
Retail and digital-first industries
Retailers are using behavioural analytics to give customers a better experience, make supply chain operations smoother, and boost sales. Marketing messages and promotions can be made more personal to create targeted campaigns that will really speak to their audience.
With market basket analysis, retailers are able to understand customer purchasing patterns, thereby increasing sales. They are also using data to make sure they always have the right amount of inventory, recommend products better, and track customer behaviour, both in store and online.
For the digital-first industry, data is even more central to business operations. As these companies are based online, they depend on data to make sure people keep coming back to their platform.
Think about it. Social media platforms use data to give you content and ads that are totally tailored to what you’re into, and e-commerce platforms use data to recommend products you’ll love and make it easier to search for what you want, thus making the whole shopping experience a delight.
These industries are also leveraging data for predictive analytics, which can help them forecast trends and make strategic business decisions. With the help of machine learning and AI, retailers and digital-first companies can analyse massive amounts of data to identify patterns and insights that might not be immediately apparent.
In fact, if retail companies collect and analyse their data thoroughly and efficiently, they could use it to put systems in place that can increase their operating margins by 60%.
The future is unfolding right before our eyes. Data analytics is transforming nearly every industry by providing actionable business information. By optimising supply chains and enhancing customer experiences, data-driven insights are empowering industries to improve the lives of people around the world.
(The author is Co-founder and CEO, Hevodata, an automated data pipeline platform that helps companies better understand their users and customers.)
Edited by Swetha Kannan
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)