The world bought into the idea of continual improvement ever since Japanese car companies embraced it in the ‘70s and ate Detroit’s lunch. But you can’t improve what you can’t measure – which is why analytics now envelops the entire enterprise, crunching every data set it can find to get a clear view of current reality and suggest a better road ahead.
For decades, those armed with the business intelligence class of analytics tools have plumbed financial and logistical databases to identify new business opportunities, flag weaknesses, and gain competitive advantage. More recently, with the addition of machine learning to identify patterns in data, analytics is proving scarily accurate at predicting future outcomes. Even better – using such self-service tools as Tableau, PowerBI, or Qlik – business users can now gain data insights on their own rather than requesting reports from business intelligence specialists.