In the past, adhering to customer demands was most likely easier. Companies would make a product available, and continue or discontinue selling that item depending on the demand it garnered.
With recent innovations, however, meeting supply-and-demand requests is no longer enough. Instead, businesses need to stay one step ahead of their customers at all times – which places an emphasis on accurate forecasting capabilities.
As a result, the market for predictive analytics is expected to explode. In recent blog for SmartData Collective, Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer at Ventana Research, wrote that his company’s recent study revealed that business analytics is the top-cited priority for organizations in 2013.
More than half of survey respondents listed business analytics as very important to them, particularly for its forecasting (cited by 49 percent of respondents), visual discovery (48 percent) and action-based outcome (48 percent) functions. In addition, the study found that more companies want to deploy mobile BI solutions with predictive capabilities.
Currently, only 20 percent of organizations have successfully deployed business analytics, so the sector’s growth appears to be far from complete.
Benefits of predictive BI
In a recent blog post for Supply & Demand-Chain Executive, Yan Krupnik, marketing manager at Retalon, said that predictive analysis tools differ from traditional BI because, rather than simply analyzing past data, they use that same information to make forecasts about the future. While he didn’t discount traditional business intelligence‘s value, he noted the tremendous potential of predictive analytics, which allow companies be proactive on issues from fraud prevention to identifying customer trends.
In addition, Krupnik said that predictive tools can help an organization cut costs by approximately 40 percent. When used in conjunction with supply chain management, for instance, it makes accurate readings on thing likes prices, safety stock and vendor lead times.
In a separate blog for the Times of Malta, Hadrian Sammut, business solutions adviser at iMovo, equated BI solutions to being the “corporate crystal ball.” Because of the competitiveness of today’s market, he said that survival could come down to something as simple as optimizing business performance management. Companies with the best risk prevention and forecasting capabilities will be the most likely to survive, which is one feature that business intelligence tools can provide.
At the same time, Sammut stressed that BI implementation processes can be a vital component toward achieving success. Receiving the right information at the proper moment, he said, is just as important as the technology itself.