In the last article in our Anatomy of a Decision series, we examined the importance of providing end users with interactive visualizations that make data easily consumable. As companies increasingly recognize the value of providing executives and knowledge workers with self-service analytics, the use of visualization tools has taken on greater importance. Visualization enables users to quickly and more effectively evaluate information from a variety of sources to see things that weren’t obvious to them before, including patterns, trends, and outliers. Even when data volumes are large, patterns can be spotted quickly, saving time and improving decision making.
Still, for companies to reap the full benefits of data analysis, they need to think beyond individual data analysis. Insights & analyses should be shared and discussed among associated stakeholders to reap the benefits of collective wisdom, harnessing different perspectives for multidimensional decision making.
Indeed, one of the key benefits of collaborative analytics is how it enables business teams to rise above the traditionally isolated and linear nature of data analysis by an individual manager or employee and for decision-makers to achieve mutually agreed-upon business goals.
For example, members of a project team for a manufacturer of women’s clothing were charged with evaluating gaps in the retail supply chain in order to improve operational and business performance. While the team leader identified shortcomings in inventory management and product availability in physical stores for one of their top retailers, other team members suggested drilling down further on supply chain data to identify potential deficiencies in the company’s omnichannel supply chain, which represented more extensive opportunities for operational improvement. By brainstorming together, the team members were able to discover several weaknesses in the omnichannel supply chain that were quickly addressed and led to immediate operational improvements and cost savings.
Organizational teams that are able to leverage collaborative analytical capabilities are better prepared to make more informed decisions by drawing on the collective insights and analysis of the team as a result of better communication and knowledge sharing.
Few decisions in business are made in isolation. People learn new things by interacting with others, asking questions, and considering other viewpoints. Engaging with co-workers and other business associates and sharing knowledge and data through collaborative BI enables companies to make more informed and transparent decisions at a faster rate.
- To learn more about the factors that are driving self-service data discovery requirements, check out the Blue Hill Research study, “Anatomy of a Decision”.
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