When You’re Not a Data Scientist, But You Need More Data Intelligence

For the most part, business analysts have done a commendable job of managing the big data deluge. At small and medium-sized businesses, non-IT staffers have found ways to extract actionable information from structured data sources, such as databases, excel spreadsheets, and more recently log files. In doing so, they’ve given their employers data-driven competitive advantages. However, business analysts are still struggling to bring the same level of insight to unstructured data, which represents as much as 80 percent of the content SMBs are generating, according to Gartner.

If you work for an SMB, you’re probably not a data scientist. The few specialists who claim that title have been scooped up by large enterprises, and they spend their days running complex algorithms across both structured and unstructured sources. If you’re a business analyst, it is likely that you have more responsibilities than time. To efficiently execute, you need to tap into the PowerPoint presentations, videos, documents, emails, social media and other unstructured data sources that hold critical insights for your team. With the support of the right technology, you won’t need to be a data scientist or hire one to save time and make more informed decisions.

Smaller companies are now creating and collecting a many types of data on customers, products, and markets, and their business analysts need ways to process and analyze that data for better competitive edge, customer happiness and financial performance. Traditional IT-centric approaches require expensive software and dramatic changes to business processes, but new technology is democratizing access to data insights for business users. With the right tools and training, today’s business analyst can turn terabytes of data into graphs, charts and digestible information – a capability that was previously out of reach for SMBs.

When that happens, business analysts will deliver more value to SMBs than data scientists could hope to, since these users understand both the source of the data and how to put it to use to improve the business.

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Steve Kearns

Steve is the Director of Product Management for DataGravity, focused on defining and delivering Data Intelligence. He has spoken at conferences around the world about the power of search and analytics and has worked with many of the worlds most successful companies and government agencies implementing these technologies.