Cheap computing power, applications like CRM, and new technology like RFID have brought about a sea change in the amount of data that can be gleaned from day-to-day economic activity. This has given rise to the burgeoning domain described variously as data mining, business intelligence and business analytics.
These developments have allowed a degree of customised and personalised business communication that was hitherto undreamed of and will severely impact traditional advertising.
In the US, for the first time advertising has fallen during the Superbowl, considered to be the prime advertising opportunity of the year.
“India’s growing capability in high-end BPO, driven in this case by its statistical skills, is allowing the country to access a part of the new global business opportunity,” says Vivek Kulkarni, head of B2K which delivers both conventional BPO and a bit of analytics work.
“Today better techniques are available to address the mountain of data on hand,” said Saumitra Chaudhri, chief economic adviser of ICRA and a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council. He was addressing a workshop on ‘Profit From Analytics’ organised by IIIT-B, B2K and SAS.
This great opportunity needs to be addressed by business and analytical skills linking up. While research organisations mainly test methods, a link to the bottomline is necessary to explore the full opportunity created by both the availability of data and the means to analysis, Chaudhri added.
“Data mining unearths nuggets of knowledge hidden in data,” said Choudur Lakshminayaran, a data analytics boffin with HP Labs. Segmentation, clustering and regrsession analysis of data, as also its visualisation and summery make up the world of business analytics.
While upfront opportunities are provided for clustered, targetted and personalised marketing, at the back of a firm this adds up with procurement, vendor, inventory and subsidiary management. This constitutes the new universe of data and its interpretation that is driving modern business.
Sudipta Sen, CEO of SAS Intelligence (India), traced the evolution of business intelligence by recalling that earlier it was seen as a reporting tool.
Today data integration and intelligent storage allows insights to be gleaned through analytical tools, eventually leading to modelling to forecast the future. All this leads to business optimisation and finally innovation in business strategy.