The hype around analytics is justified, whether you’re in marketing, logistics, or the R&D department. The ability to accumulate data and run the numbers in real-time can mean the difference between a successful new product campaign or a flop.
This is the value proposition of operational analytics (OA), and why so many companies are eager to implement these tools and practices. From marketing and sales to customer support and fulfillment, there is no business unit that doesn’t benefit from OA in some way.
One of the best ways to learn about OA and its functionality is by exploring its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s talk about these pros and cons right now and see what we find.
With so many businesses raving about OA, let’s start with the upside. Here’s why OA is so popular and what it can do.
For companies that prioritize efficiency, automation is not a dirty word. The problem is that too many businesses automate the wrong things, then blame the technology for their own mistakes.
With OA, you get all the benefits of automation with none of the downsides, giving data teams the extra breathing room they need to accomplish more.
What does OA automate exactly? From data collection and organization to generating insights and executing action plans, OA can do it all.
This is a significant upgrade from traditional analytics systems that required labor-intensive, time-consuming tasks to collect data and put it to good use.
While traditional analytics tools can put the data in front of the right people at the right time, it leaves the hard part up to you: making the right decision.
This is the most powerful feature of OA in a nutshell, turning data into insights, then turning insights into action. Where traditional analytics fall short, OA picks up the slack.
It’s not just a matter of saving time, but also making more accurate, impactful business decisions that add up to big wins over time.
Quick and Streamlined
Anyone who has used traditional analytics systems knows that user experience is not a strong suit. TA tools tend to be cumbersome, difficult to deploy, prone to error, and may not work as intended, even after expensive implementations.
OA is truly a next-gen system in this regard, offering streamlined deployment, quick integration with existing assets, a user-friendly look and feel, and plenty of other quality-of-life upgrades that you’d expect from a modern service.
Compare the hands-on experience of TA vs. OA tools to see the night-and-day difference for yourself.
Old-school analytics were applicable only in certain contexts and a limited range of business functions. Now, OA systems excel in a wide variety of integrations, meaning teams won’t come up against compatibility issues and other limitations.
The focus used to be on sales and marketing – now all bases are covered, from logistics and supply chain management to accounting and other background operations.
Operational analytics isn’t perfect, despite all its advantages. Here’s what you should know about OA and where it might not meet expectations.
The best OA systems are all-encompassing and require custom implementations that could be costly. This means that executive buy-in will be necessary to get these types of projects underway – always easier said than done.
Executives need to be informed about the practical benefits of OA, how it differs from standard business intelligence, and how your business can benefit in actual outcomes. If OA is a priority, learn as much as possible and develop a workable on-ramp for your organization.
Slight Learning Curve
Using OA tools is a breeze compared to the unwieldy traditional analytics tools of the past. Still, there’s a learning curve to overcome when these systems hit the ground running.
Sales teams, marketers, customer support staff, and other critical teams will need to engage with data more directly, and expertise won’t appear overnight. If you plan to bring OA into the fold, be sure your organization is ready to learn the ropes.
Not an Instant Fix
Even the most cutting-edge analytics strategies are a work-in-progress, and OA won’t fix underlying problems in your business without effort.
If there are issues in how your business operates on a fundamental level, OA is not going to turn things around. The data might reveal patterns and give you an edge when fixing problems, but there is no substitute for bold and informed decision-making.
Put Your Data To Work With Operational Analytics
From the smallest family business to the world’s biggest corporations, data is flowing in huge volumes, containing useful insights to be unlocked.
Where traditional analytics tools leave much to be desired, OA platforms make the most out of that data, and provide an intuitive user experience to match. Analytics are finally mainstream, and now it’s time to use them the right way.