Cognos Analytics with Watson

 View Only

Business Analytics in the Age of Disruption

By RACHEL SU posted Wed May 11, 2022 04:06 PM


Business Analytics in the Age of Disruption

The 2020s have quickly been established as the age of the unexpected. Following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations still find themselves needing to navigate unpredictable external forces that are largely out of their control, including labor disruptions, supply chain shortages, rising inflation, and increased regulation. To navigate this constantly disrupted world, clients need more data, more collaboration and more assurances that they can act at the speed of business without risk.

In fact, everyone, at all levels, need to be data driven to face this disruptive new reality. This situation persists across all areas of the business and organizations have had to focus on new data applications to find a path towards success and resiliency. For example:

What is in the way of making better decisions?   The IBM Data and AI team has seen organizations saddled with data and analytics spread across the organizations accessible to only a certain set of users.  This results in the needed analytics being siloed and underutilized by decision makers that could benefit from this data and content…if they only knew it existed and was accessible. 


The Most Important Types of Analytics


According to Ventana Research, the most important types of analytics are Reports, Dashboards, Ad-hoc Query, Visualization/Discovery and Planning/What-if scenarios

We also see organizations not providing the right analytics to the people closest to the decisions that can make a difference in a compressed decision timeline.  From our perspective, as organizations address the disruption, they are using a combination of these capabilities. Specifically, we see an increase of line of business areas using planning for “what if” and scenario modelling, determining multiple pathways to success that they can compare.  They are using AI forecasting and decision optimization algorithms to enable success in a world of finite resources and time.  Each of these organizations has seen lift from these investments. IBM is the only partner that provides all 5 types of analytics in an integrated solution at scale, allowing for continuous improvement, predictive, prescriptive and scale to tens of thousands of users, billions of rows of data, with quintillions of intersections.


Driving success with a winning combination


A good example is Novolex, a packaging and food service products manufacturer in North America and Europe. The company faced a large gap between their sales plan and their production plan during the pandemic. “We did not have up-to-date information to make sure that sites were producing enough volume without producing inventory unnecessarily,” saysVioleta Nedelcu, Supply ChainDirector at Novolex.

The company used a combination of IBM Planning Analytics and Business Intelligence capabilities.The new solution reduced the forecasting process from six weeks to less than one week—an 83% reduction.This year, says Nedelcu, the company can operate with 16% less inventory than it maintained a year ago—especially notable in a year when food-service turbulence has seen both grocery gains and restaurant losses.


New Packaging and Integration


A successful solution must be designed to remove barriers among disparate analytics tools. Organizations have multiple analytic and business intelligence tools driven by different applications, departments and preferences. Applications such as Salesforce, SAP, and Workday also persist as embed operational analytics. These insights become siloed from other capabilities. These silos make it difficult to access consistent information, and they increase the challenge in cost, control, adoption and risk and lower productivity as people recreate the wheel.

IBM is addressing these issues in several ways to benefit organizations and decision makers at every level, across every organization and system.First,IBM is developing deeper integration among analytics tools and creating new packaging to give organizations more flexibility when it comes to deploying the 5 most important types of analytics. This packaging will give all users access to analytic capabilities, helping to compress the time to make decisions with the best data and insights available.


The Content Analytics Hub


Second, IBM is introducing a new capability to allow users to breakdown analytic content silos and uncover all the analytics available in an organization.  Content Analytics Hub is a new capability that brings all your business analytics capabilities in one place.  This single hub allows users to access, discover, and personalize content to increase productivity and ensure more consistency in decision making.  Organizations that use analytics not only from IBM but from other providers such as Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, SAP, ThoughtSpot may now pull of this is content logically together, accessing it through a single sign-on while ensuring all entitlements are enforced. Furthermore, user can combine insights from all this disparate content to create a composite dashboard with elements from each! Now everyone can see the same complete picture without having to recreate or be limited by a single capability. 


Organizations can apply their own branding and creativity to present this information in more modern ways.  Imagine delivering your analytic content the way popular streaming services do today with information tailored to you needs with recommendations based on your selections over time. This capability uses algorithms to ensure users see the content that will help them make decisions without missing information or recreating work already available. 


Figure 1            Create a modern view of ALL your analytics


Figure 2           Create a mash-up across your analytics



Create a trusted data foundation with Cloud Pak for Data and IBM Data Fabric


Regardless of the complexity of the use case, the data wrangling that is required to meet your business needs, or where you are modernizing your IT environments, IBM Business Analytics solutions adapt to meet your needs of today and tomorrow. Our solutions harness the power of IBM Cloud Pak for Data and IBM Data Fabric to enable organizations the freedom to run their analytics anywhere with data that may be everywhere. Core features such as multi-cloud data access, an intelligent knowledge catalog, pervasive data privacy and security, and distribute processing ensure that no matter what your data need may be to improve your decision-making, IBM Business Analytics can connect the right data to the right people at the right time.



Leading through a cycle of disruption


Disruptions will continue to surface unexpectedly, and their effects will have broad impact on organizations and their ecosystems for multiple months. The best way to lead during these times is to adopt what our clients are sharing with us: let everyone in the organization at every level use data and analytics to make decisions together, faster and with more confidence. The advances outlined in this blog can be pragmatically adopted at any size to allow organizations to benefit today and be prepared for tomorrow.