Tag Archives: Contextual Data Discovery

Accepting and Understanding Consumer Complaints Can Save Business

Consumers can make or break any business. One good experience may bring customers back, but one bad experience can start a chain reaction that can result in a collapse of business all around. That is why customer relationship management is one of the most crucial aspects of daily operations.

A Dangerous Game 
Take fast food giant McDonald's, for example. Some may argue the company is too big to fail, but that doesn't make it too big to be affected by negative reviews. Anything from the standard customer complaint of cold food to large lawsuits involving potentially larger settlements is bad for business. Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising, but if the consumer turns on the producer, that word of mouth can be the very factor that drives sales into the ground. Ideally, employers could simply instill in their employees the necessity to stay on top of problems with CRM by remaining aware of what the consumer expects and how best to handle a situation where those expectations are not met.

Staying vigilant about consumer issues does not guarantee business will continue without incident. One obstacle facing McDonald's now, as well as a partner in glass making, involves a woman who cut herself washing a promotional glass. A predicament such as this can not only result in a loss of consumers but also a severed working relationship between two entities to deliver a product.

What Can Be Done?
The best method for understanding what consumers see as problems with any business is also the most obvious – being open and available to receive feedback. Customer complaint reports can be vital in identifying issues with everyday procedures, disruptive employees or potential disasters. Compiled in a business intelligence software such as Necto 14, emerging trends can act as red flags indicating problems that need attention. For large corporations like McDonald's, consumer voices can be heard through all of the noise by readily available complaint forms or phone lines. Even if a customer approaches someone in management directly to voice his or her concerns, an account of the incident must be made. The more detailed the process of investigating consumer reports, the more information that can be taken away from one individual and the better your data discovery will be. 

While McDonald's may not be able to satisfy one incident in which the customer feels wronged, the corporation can prevent this complication from escalating further. Staying vigilant through well-structured CRM, problem identification and action backed by data analysis software is most beneficial. While there is no truly perfect plan for avoiding CRM complaints, it can prevent repetitive issues in one area or the upsurge of a particular dilemma.

World of Analysis on the World Cup

Similar to a world champion Olympic sprinter, the Spanish national team seemingly stumbled out of the blocks so badly that their tournament was over almost as quickly as it had started.

The spectacular and quite unexpected surprise of this year’s World Cup was the level of parody between power-house and underdog teams with a special mention to Costa Rica. They were unarguably this year’s overwhelming underdog of the tournament, surprising everyone! (ie. A bet of $1 on Costa Rica reaching the quarter final would have won $180).

We can see that there was a technical superiority of the European teams, as Europe was the continent with the most goals scored. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the South American teams were punished with more yellow cards than any other continent. However, an interesting trend was noticed when the lower tear teams were facing a superior team, they would raise their level of aggressiveness on defense in an attempt to offset the superior teams’ offensive prowess. Although the “Fair Play” award was given to Colombia, in general every team behaved accordingly during the tournament with only a few minor exceptions. Most notably, the infamous Suarez bite.

Overall America as a continent was the great winner of this World Cup in terms of teams from that region being able to qualify for the second round.

The highest possible percentage of teams (66.7%), followed by Europe (53.8%) and rounded out by Africa (40%).

There is no doubt that Germany deserved the glory! Throughout the World Cup they lead in attacking statistics. Known for being a sport that is turning into tactical and at times offers fans just plain boring games has a hope, the old way of playing is still very exciting and valuable.

Visualization can help translate analytics insights

What good is data if no one can understand it? Business intelligence suites were created to answer that very question, turning huge amounts of corporate data into useful material for decision-making. However, in some cases, processes may not go far enough. Answering business questions with a string of incomprehensible figures won’t solve anyone’s problems. Organizations need to find a way to not only process a huge range of information sources but also present the results in a coherent and sensible way. Data visualization techniques, employed by some of today’s leading BI suites, may be the answer to this quandary, representing an evolution of the analytics concept.

The case for visualization
ARC Advisory Group recently explained that difficulty of use is keeping some businesses away from using BI. This is a huge problem, as the technology can provide expert guidance and seems on pace to become an industry standard. The source went on to note that there is little time to get users up to speed on solutions that aren’t immediately resonant. If the technology fails to catch on at many levels, it may end up having a minimal impact on company culture. ARC explained that this is where interactive graphics come in, resonant to look at and updated often.

The perception of analytics without a visual element may be poor. According to ARC, managers may not prioritize learning to read a stream of raw insights from BI processes that are not user-friendly. This makes sense in a way, as there are many things for these leaders to take care of today. Still, if there’s one source of information that should be heeded, it’s the output from BI. Graphical interfaces and vibrant visuals can take several forms, and companies should choose the one that’s right for them. While ARC suggested a few that were limited in either functionality or industry, other solutions are more universal.

Getting the right visual features
One major benefit of visualization is the potential to expand BI use well beyond power users and place the software in everyone’s hands. Solutions such as Panorama Necto 14 leverage these techniques to this end. The software can deliver a number of different selections of data in a visual format, either tailoring the graphs to the specialized needs of business department staff members or the more trained eyes of the longtime analysts. There are also ways to ensure that many employees see a current infographic, allowing leaders to spread their findings to every department that can benefit from them.

Panorama Software Announces Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2014

TORONTO, CANADA – May 13, 2014 – Panorama Software today announced it has integrated support for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 into the Panorama Necto 14 software solution. Integration with the SQL Server Platform enables users to analyze and visualize data in a unified, self-service environment.

The foundation of Microsoft’s comprehensive data platform, SQL Server delivers breakthrough performance for mission critical applications, using in-memory technologies, faster insights from data to any user in familiar tools such as Excel, and a resilient platform for building, deploying and managing solutions that span on-premise and cloud.

Necto 14 incorporates support for SQL Server 2014’s in-memory engine, analysis service cubes, as well as use of SQL Server 2014 as the Necto operational database and data source for an in-memory model. Necto 14 also allows users of SQL 2014 to add dynamic Infographic visualizations that reflects the “language” of their business.

This announcement of continued support for SQL Server builds on Panorama Software’s long-standing partnership with Microsoft. Panorama has provided out of the box integration with all major Microsoft Business Intelligence technologies since 1996, and the company’s flagship product, Panorama Necto is optimized for the SQL Server Platform, supporting both OLAP and BISM modes.

“We are pleased to announce our continued support for the SQL Server Platform,” says Tomer Paz, Product Manager for Panorama Software. “Customers deploying or migrating to the 2014 edition of SQL Server will enjoy a seamless upgrade experience and be able to use it with Necto 14 to utilize all its great benefits of Infographics Visualizations, suggestive technology, collaborative capabilities in a single governed platform.”

For more information, please visit www.panorama.com.

About Panorama

Panorama is a leader in Business Intelligence 3.0, facilitating the next generation of self-service business intelligence solutions. Panorama’s Necto product is a BI platform which is context aware allowing any type of user to interact intuitively with data within an intelligent collaborative environment. Panorama recently released Necto 14, the market’s first Business Intelligence data discovery solution to offer Infographics for Dynamic Data Visualization.

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Lynn Walks
Marketing Director
Panorama Software
(t) 416-545-0990
(e) lwalks@panorama.com

Big data trends that impede business intelligence

While business intelligence is seeing continued growth, the rate of expansion has slowed due largely to the way companies approach big data. The latest Gartner report indicated that business intelligence experienced an average 8 percent growth in 2013 across the globe, but no one saw improvements higher than 12 percent. According to Data Center Dynamics, the limited amount companies and their employees know about big data is a major reason behind the slowed growth of BI.

Lack of know-how
Big data, which encompasses massive swaths of information, can seem intimidating for those unprepared to harness the potential of data analytics. The news provider suggested that part of the reason big data remains such a mystery to some is that they don’t know how to best put it to use for their businesses. This encompasses everything from knowing which data to examine when looking at a specific operation or strategy to analyzing and interpreting sets of information and how they relate to one another.

However, firms can invest in a BI solution like Panorama’s Necto 14 that makes it easier to collect and interpret relevant data. This software can suggest which sets of information may be useful for a particular inquiry, giving users the ability to gain valuable insights regarding various departments and processes.

Too much importance
At the same time as businesses are having trouble harnessing big data correctly, many are also placing far too much emphasis on this large pool of information. The focus tends to fall more on the collection and storage of big data and less on data discovery and analysis, according to Venture Beat. Having all of this information is only useful when it is then analyzed and put to use to improve a business. In many instances, this can be due to the lack of know-how when it comes to using the data effectively. The self-service BI tools available in Necto 14 allow any member of an organization to extract and interpret big data so it can serve to help departments make strategic changes to various policies and operations.

These issues will likely diminish as more companies embrace modern and intuitive business intelligence tools that can help them better harness big data. Inquirer.net reported that new applications and software that focus on making big data more accessible will put the power of data analysis in the hands of more workers.

How do you know if your company is ready for business intelligence?

Companies in virtually any industry can benefit from business intelligence, whether they want to improve their marketing strategies, enhance overall operations or monitor production activity. There is some preparatory work that will need to be done before a firm can start effectively collecting and analyzing data with business intelligence tools.

Analyze your business’s BI readiness 
Smart Data Collective recently surveyed more than 60 chief information officers from U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses to find out how various companies were using business intelligence. The researchers asked about each company’s current BI platform and usage and calculated their scores on a scale of 0-100, then categorized responses into five categories from lowest to highest levels of BI maturity.

The results showed that 77 percent of respondents were still in the preliminary stages (nascent and low) of BI development. Nascent companies have either made plans to invest in a BI solution or were just beginning to establish methods of collecting big data. For those that fell into the low category, basic data analytics were readily available, but typically only for a select number of departments within a company.

Determine how you could put BI to use
The survey also revealed that one-third of businesses using BI do so to examine data from the past. While examining the details of sales from the previous quarter can provide insight into how well the business did, companies can also monitor real-time data to get more up-to-date information. Panorama’s latest BI software offering, Necto 14, can easily pull the latest information from a database. The ability to see and analyze data in real-time makes it easier for companies to implement changes when strategies may not measure up to expectations.

Make BI available to everyone
Data analysis can have many uses that span across a company’s operations, so it would make sense to use a BI solution that every department can put to use. Logi Analytics reported that since some employees may not be at all familiar with BI tools, such as dashboards and reporting, companies should select software that is accessible to any user regardless of their familiarity with business intelligence. Working with raw data can be overwhelming for people unfamiliar with IT and data analysis. Necto 14 makes it easy for any employee to determine which information they need, and helps them analyze and organize the information into data visualisation through the use of clear, concise infographics.

Data discovery tools can help government agencies tap into big data analytics

After noticing the way big data analytics has benefited the private sector – both in terms of the impact and the vast array of uses – government agencies are planning to invest heavily in the technology. 

While public sector IT officials are hoping to gain some of big data's cost-saving capabilities, they have many other intentions for these tools, including:

  • Using it for fraud prevention to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks. 
  • Leveraging big data so that law enforcement can prevent crime and solve cases faster.
  • Improving medical research, which could lead to better diagnoses, preventative care and saved lives. 

But actually achieving those goals will require a few initial steps, from making databases communicate to analyzing the reports big data tools produce to managing increasing amounts of information effectively.

"The government is dealing with more and more data every day, and pretty much anything electronic is producible," Tom Kennedy, director of Public Sector Archiving and E-Discovery for Symantec, recently told Government Technology. In particular, he pointed to social media, audio files and any other electronically produced piece of information. 

Three challenges stand in the way
Big data's growth in popularity has been brough about by more than just its benefits; these tools have become significantly easier to use, along with being more affordable for companies of all sizes. 

However, a recent Meritalk study revealed that many federal agencies are a few years away from tapping into big data's potential, particularly since they're struggling to deal "with a data tsunami that will overwhelm organizations not able to take advantage of it." That's because many of these organizations are lacking digital storage space, necessary access to data and computational power, among other factors.

This is where data discovery tools can help tremendously, according to Kennedy.

"[Data discovery] is all about being able to intelligently search and retrieve relevant information across huge amounts of data," he told Government Technology, adding, "The basic principle of e-discovery is you're trying to empower the user to sift through huge amounts of information and only find the relevant information. The power of analytics is really important in that process."

With the help of data discovery, storage, access computing and other complicated processes would be automated. That way, government agency professionals can refocus their attention on using big data to achieve their intended goals.

For instance, Kennedy mentioned the way organizations cane use big data to conduct predictive analytics. These tools can scan through thousands, millions or hundreds of millions of files "and come back to you with recommendations on what it believes is relevant and not relevant," he told Government Technology. 

Incorporating data visualization into business strategy

Advanced analytics may have gotten its start in science – by NASA or lab researchers, for instance – but another, unexpected industry helped bring it to the consumer level.

By now, most people are familiar with "moneyball," the term used to describe the data analysis strategy employed by the Oakland Athletics, a Major League Baseball team. Joe Ward, a New York Times graphic editor and a former associate scout for the Cleveland Indians, recently spoke at an MIT conference about how this innovative technique has now spread throughout the entire sport.

"I've done a lot of biomechanics stuff, so I was able to break the swing down to some of its biomechanics and try to impart that a little bit," Ward told Baseball Prospectus. "You don't want to tell him too much and make him think too much.Then just some simple data for these guys just sort of brings things home. 'Look, you're hitting .275. If you get one more hit a week, you'll be hitting .310.'"

Ward discussed some of the reasons data visualization has become so popular, most notably its simplicity. Because of its ability to help people understand complex matters, the technology has not only spread to other sports, but it's starting to gain traction within many industries as well.

Bringing data visualization to the enterprise
Business intelligence has been around for many years, but only recently has the technology caught the interest of decision-makers outside the world of IT. That's because new and improved solutions have made it easier for non-experts to comprehend reports.

In a recent blog post for SmartData Collective, Index Analytics CEO Raghu Akkapeddi highlighted the benefits of data visualization services with a focus on the enterprise. These strategies, he said, can "address all the data needs of the organization." This can include any number reporting – transactional and operational, for instance, or executive dashboards and KPI scorecards.

But the key to enterprise-focused data visualization, according to Akkapeddi, centers around the ability to deliver relevant information to members of every department in a timely manner.

For example, if salespeople want to find out where sales are strong for a particular product, they can leverage Twitter visualization tools, which produce real-time maps, graphs and other graphics. Meanwhile, marketers would be able to use those same tools to gather different information depending on their needs.

The first step to successful data visualization requires integrating that information into a central warehouse. While this might take some time, the potential benefits make it worth the effort.

Big data paving the way for real-time predictive analysis investment

Big data analytics was an unstoppable force in 2012, and that momentum is expected to carry on for the foreseeable future. 

In addition, a recent Lavastorm Analytics study indicated that the early successes of big data could be motivating organizations to invest in other data analysis tools. 

"Overall the survey points to the fact that data management is a tough problem and requires the right tools, processes, and skilled people to access, integrate and analyze data," said Drew Rockwell, CEO of Lavastorm Analytics. "While we see many people still using basic tools like Excel, there is a clear need for more powerful, yet easy to use, tools."

In a recent blog post for SmartData Collective, Mark van Rijmenam, founder of BigData-Startups, discussed the ways advanced analytics can benefit companies and employees across every department. For example, he listed different types of analysis organizations can do, such as:

– Marketing analysis, which will help businesses determine what advertising strategies are most likely to work. With social media and mobile going mainstream, this can help companies figure out the best ways to market to their audiences.

– Sentiment analysis, particularly through social BI tools, provides leaders with real-time insight into how their customer bases feels about certain products and services.

– Pattern analysis enables companies to identify consumer trends. 

Real-time insight needs improvement
What makes pattern analysis so effective is its ability to take structured data, unstructured information or a combination of the two and transform them into useful reports. 

According to the Lavastorm Analytics survey of 600 professionals, spread across a variety of industries, predictive analysis will be a massive area of investment in 2013, with more than half of respondents citing interest in the technology. The only way these tools are effective, though, is if they're easy enough to understand and the information is available in real time.

The study revealed that companies are struggling to integrate data effectively, along with providing real-time access. More than anything, this may be preventing them from "gleaning insights from the data," the top-cited big data barrier right now. 

In a recent column for CIO, Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, said that data access is the No. 1 priority when it comes to advanced analytics. After all, it doesn't matter how good the technology is if employees can't get insights from the reports in a timely manner. 

Fortunately, recent innovations such as Panorama Necto aim to make relevant information available to employees in real time, and those solutions are only expected to improve going forward. 

Healthcare IT professionals believe data analysis can save money, lives

The healthcare IT sector is in the midst of an extremely complex revolution. Departments in the industry have to adopt EHR systems and mobile solutions, while working within the constraints of a limited budget. 

Fortunately, big data analytics have the potential to make these changes easier and more effective, along with many other benefits.

"Access to timely, complete, accurate, contextual, and digestible data is the lynchpin for accountable care success," said Cynthia Burghard, research director of accountable care IT Strategies at IDC Health Insights.

Burghard added  that within the healthcare industry, decision-makers consider data analysis to be No. 1 on their future investment agenda. With growing volumes of internal information to manage and vast amounts of external data, health professionals are expected to lean more on big data

The potential advantages of the technology are very similar to the ways it's helped organizations in other industries – predictive analysis, real-time decision-making and measuring cost-efficiency, just to name a few. 

A recent survey from IDC revealed that IT professionals are interested in data analysis for:

– Measuring performance management, cited by 64 percent of respondents. This will enable workers to identify which processes are working and which ones need improvement.

– Conducting real-time analysis. For instance, deciding between different courses of treatment can be challenging, so data analysis can help narrow down which one makes the most sense.

– Clinical outcomes, which 64 percent of respondents expressed interest in. Forecasting in general can be extremely beneficial for healthcare professionals, whether that pertains to research, clinical outcomes or which patients are likely to return for additional treatment. 

While big data can do all of those things for healthcare agencies, there is another benefit that could make it invaluable to these organizations: saving lives.

"By combining disparate sources of data and analyzing them in real time, government leaders and citizens can turn 'big data' into 'smart data' and gain a much clearer picture of how to save taxpayer dollars and even save lives," said Jennifer Morgan, president of SAP Public Services.

A separate survey from SAP AG and TechAmerica Foundation revealed that big data is rapidly gaining popularity among government IT workers. According to the report, federal tech professionals believe the technology can trim 10 percent off their expenditures, a significant benefit considering most public IT departments are experiencing declining budgets.

In addition, 87 percent of federal and 75 percent of state-level respondents said big data solutions could save a notable number of lives every year.