Advanced Analytics to Develop a Competitive Advantage in any Economic Climate

By - May 28, 2020

Advanced Analytics to Drive the next Macro-Economic Leap

I recently attended a technology overview session provided by Microsoft’s Technology Center where the National Technical Director, Todd Van Nurden, stated that he believed the US economy cannot grow dramatically unless advanced analysis methods are embraced. He explained his point by referring to the technology that is predominantly used in business today; technology that it is built off of methods and software established in the 1980s and 1990s. He claimed that automation and advanced analytics must be embraced and implemented in order to experience the large macro-economic boost the country is so desperately craving.

In this blog post, we highlight how advanced analytics methods help provide a competitive edge and drive organizational excellence in any economic climate.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage in a “Normal” Economic Climate

The first place middle market business leaders should look for competitive advantage is right in their data. The data that an organization collects is one of its largest assets but isn’t always utilized to drive action in organizations. When the economy is humming along smoothly, investments can be made to explore three levels of data analytics to determine how the organization may benefit from each.

Level 1” analytics includes spreadsheets and charts (commonly made in Excel) and traditional paginated reports that require hours of manual processes to develop and enhance. This type of analytics is quite common especially before user-friendly BI products were released in the last decade.

Level 2” analytics allows historic reporting where data is presented and analyzed with appealing visualization tools like Power BI, Tableau, or Qlik. These types of reports are “descriptive” in that they show historical data only. Making decisions with this data is reactive because the events visualized on these charts have already occurred.

Level 3” analytics provides foresight to business leaders that allows them to anticipate events so they can make decisions accordingly. This includes methods like machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide a more robust analysis that supplements the Level 1 and Level 2 analytics they may already be doing. This level of analysis is needed to fully use data as an asset and gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage during the “Coronaconomy” (Coronavirus Economy)

It’s no secret that the coronavirus impact has thrown a massive wrench into the global economy. As the RSM Middle Market Index from April 2020 shows, there was a sharp drop in market confidence compared to previous months. This has left leaders scrambling and looking for any and all opportunities to keep their business functioning.

When the pandemic passes, some organizations will emerge in much better shape than others. The organizations currently embracing all levels of analytics have the potential to see a wider variety of opportunities available to them both now and in the future. Advanced analytics provides greater insight and more depth to current analytics being utilized, which creates a foundation allowing more agility and flexibility for business leaders to drive an organizational transformation.

While certain business functions are sitting idle due to economic conditions that are out of an organization’s control, focusing on extracting greater value out of data engages organizations an opportunity to quickly react to the constantly changing environment in their respective industries. Advanced analytics including machine learning and AI methods can be established and implemented within a relatively short period of time depending on the sophistication of the other levels of analytics.

Bottom Line:

Advanced analytics can help identify the “diamonds” that are sitting in your data and drive organization excellence. When accurate predictive models are established, automation is quick to follow along with a competitive advantage in the market. The methods and analyses are able to be scaled efficiently across an organization and provide rapid responses to the ever-changing business environment. These opportunities can be pursued with your own data no matter what the external economic climate is like!

To learn more about how RSM can support your advanced analytics and reporting needs, please visit our website, call 800-274-3978, or email us. To learn more about the many ways RSM can help during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our Coronavirus Resource Center.

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