Analytics should be a primary focus

Analytics and big data are two of the most pervasive trends in the world of today's companies, utilized by small businesses as well as large enterprises. Because they are often intertwined in some way  – and are constantly thrown around as tech buzzwords – it can be easy for some businesspeople to think that they're the same thing. However, this simply is not the case. Each can benefit from the other, but they are by no means mutually exclusive. 

In fact, recent research conducted by those with expertise in the field points out that big data may not, in the end, be half as important to businesses as analytics will be. This is not to say that big data shouldn't be taken into account, but its value may come in second to analytics in the long run. Strategies that businesses employ for the proper management of business intelligence should therefore include dedicated analytics solutions.

Analytics and big data: head-to-head
Dan Vesset, program vice president for big data and analytics at IDC, a market research firm, recently shared some pointed thoughts about the divergences between analytics and big data, at the Avnet Technology Solutions IBM Compass 2013 partner conference. 

"Big data is actually just a segment of the whole analytics environment," Vesset said in his statement. "There is a lot of hype around it…but I think we will soon reach the end of the irrational exuberance over big data."

Vesset's firm estimated that the global market value for big data currently stands at $8.1 billion, and he believes that the technology is at its peak and is likely to decline from here. By contrast, IDC projected that the analytics market could be worth as much as $95 million within the near future.

It's all about the application
Another important concept to remember regarding analytics and BI is that proper implementation and application are essential for success. If you can organize and measure important metrics but do not know how best to use the information that analytics provides, you won't be able to leverage it for the success of your organization. 

Fortunately, according to CIOL, the most forward-thinking businesspeople are more than capable of properly using analytics. Business processes that can be notably enhanced include talent acquisition and management, product sale strategies, marketing efforts and many others.

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