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Analyse to prioritise: How the use of analytics can make a difference

24 April, 2017
Young business professional using laptop outside
How the use of analytics can make a difference

In a recent interview with The Record, Columbus Practice Director, Chris Braisby and our Technical Director, Martin Clothier, explained the business areas in which the innovative use of analytics can really make a difference.

The emergence of analytic technologies has had a radical effect on companies in most sectors. Being able to deduce what is happening within your company and act accordingly has now become vital to modern business success.

The benefit of analytics

Chris Braisby and Martin Clothier, identify two dominant roles analytics is playing – both beneficial to the business, but different in nature.

“There’s the cost reduction and outgoings perspective, where companies can modify and streamline their practices,” Braisby explains. “Then there’s the side that sees the use of big data and analytics to increase sales revenue and enhance business processes.”

“This can be achieved through a greater awareness and understanding of not just what a customer wants, but when they want it, and having an up to the minute response.”

Using predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance is another area of note, with some Columbus customers connecting machines using internet of things technologies.

“We’re connecting those machines up so we can crunch massive amounts of data and see when a certain part is failing or not operating  100% efficiently,” says Clothier.

“We can get a service engineer out there, prevent downtime, and keep production efficiencies up for those customers. That’s an additional service that allows customers to have an additional competitive advantage.”

The role of Microsoft

Columbus is working closely with Microsoft, and helping customers move data to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

“There’s an opportunity to take the large data sets within our customer base, and modernise those into the cloud using the Microsoft platform,” Braisby says. “By putting it in the cloud with the SQL Azure service, then manipulating it using tools like Azure Machine Learning, trends and patterns within the data can be identified and customers can start to learn from it. They can also use actionable visualisations using tools like Power BI.”

Clothier explains that Columbus can define the customer business case and values and help them get set up using the best Microsoft technologies for their needs.

“Microsoft obviously has the technology platform and we have strong business relationships and big business change projects we’re working on across some very large organisations,” he says. “Everybody’s thinking about this space, and most are saying ‘what does it mean for us? How do we buy it?’”

“I think going forward, there will be a scenario of embrace it or die. If you don’t do it, your competition almost definitely will be.”

How Columbus can help

The Columbus Business Intelligence practice enables you to benefit from strategically sound and practical insight without having to take time out. While you meet revenue and operational goals and outperform the competition, you also move forward the transformation of your business into a digitally powered, fast-moving operation.

BI and analytics help you set the right course and stay true to it. If you’d like to learn more about how analytics can make a difference to your business, contact us here.