Business Analytics: What is it? What does it yield? And how do I start with it?

Business Analytics, a term that you should definitely hear more and more. But what exactly is that? What does it yield? And how do you apply it within the procurement or supply chain department of your company? With this blog I will explain this to you in a nutshell so you can start working on it immediately!

What is it?

The general picture of Business Analytics is as follows: you have (a lot of) data and use this in supporting business activities. The focus within the literature is mainly on making decisions. This is not surprising, since the current Business Angraph-going-upalytics is descended from 'decision support systems'. A broad definition of Business Analytics is the following: 'evidence-based problem recognition and solving that happen within the context of business situations'. In practice, Business Analytics is becoming increasingly important and more and more organizations are embracing it as a way to improve their results and processes. The underlying reason is that these organizations have to deal with increasingly complex situations. Consider, for example, the increasing digitization and the rapid pace at which the external environment is changing. This requires adaptability and decisiveness. The use of Business Analytics and data, or in a broader sense of evidence, enables organizations to do this.

What does it yield?

The following six reasons are examples of what Business Analytics could mean for your company!

  • It provides one competitive advantage:
    Zara, the well-known successful 'fast fashion' clothing chain, uses a 'data-driven coordinated supply chain', which means that significant reductions in delivery times and efficiency can be achieved through rapid information exchange.

  • It creates one better performance of your company:
    Through Business Analytics technologies and processes that use data, it becomes possible to understand and analyze performance achieved. As a result, you can then decisively improve the performance of your company.

  • It takes care off better decision results:
    Because of the use of Business Analytics, it is possible to arrive at an improved and informed decision-making process, which ultimately will result in better decision-making results.

  • It offers support to the strategic and tactical goals: 
    By making well-informed and fact-based decisions, thanks to Business Analytics, the tactical and strategic goals are supported. This is in contrast to making decisions based on, for example, anecdotes, estimates or political convictions where 'evidence' is ignored because 'data-driven decision making' seems too tricky.

  • The produces new knowledge: 
    Wal-Mart, the well-known retail chain, uses analytics to learn more about customer preferences. For example, they have learned that before a hurricane arrives, people often store food that does not require a refrigerator and does not need to be cooked. There are many more examples to mention, for example about supply chain optimization, but the essence is that valuable new knowledge can be generated through Business Analytics with which companies can benefit.

  • And bottom line, thanks to all of the above: it simply delivers a lot of money:  
    The return on investment is high. According to research by Nucleas Research every invested euro that you invest in Business Analytics ultimately yields about twelve euros.


How do I start with it?

Now you might think: "nice, all those examples of big 'multinationals' who have all those great results"But what can my organization do with it now? And where do I start? Then I have good news for you!

'Basic Business Analytics' is often sufficient and delivers immediate results! Implementing Business Analytics is best done through a gradual process towards 'Business Analytics Maturity'. Gradual implementation is important to your company with Business Analytics to work, after which you slowly but surely better use of the possibilities! In addition, a constructive approach creates the support within your company, which means that employees will soon embrace and accept the change. Thepicture-4 process of implementation consists of four steps, the speed depends on the competence of your company in this area.

Do you want to start immediately?

Then download the concise one-page 4-step plan!