By Ira Simon,vice president, Partner Marketing & Communications, SAP

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-analytics-image20957164Have you ever looked back at an old magazine or an old video and laughed at how much things have changed? This notion is especially true in technology, which evolves more rapidly than almost every other industry. Catch a few minutes of your favorite TV sitcom or drama from just a few years ago and you’ll see what I mean.

For me, it happened recently when I was thinking about business analytics from 15 years ago. If you were in the channel back then you probably remember talking about modeling and profiling of databases. At the time, we all thought the technology was amazing—and it was—but you really had to have a PhD-level statistical analyst on staff to make any sense of it all. And the viable solutions that we were able to sell through the channel were few and far between. Small and midsize enterprises were pretty much out of luck.

Needless to say, business analytics has come a long way. Enterprises of all sizes now can apply analytics and data modeling tools on top of Big Data technology to extract meaningful trends and insights that can quickly deliver valuable business intelligence, agile visualizations and advanced predictive analytics—on any device or platform at any time.

Analytics Goes Prime Time

Today, business analytics is commonplace, adopted broadly across industries, organization sizes and geographic regions, according to Dan Vesset, program vice president for IDC’s Business Analytics Solutions group. He notes that IDC expects the market to grow at a 9.7 percent CAGR through 2017. With good reason: There is evidence that “data-driven decision making enabled by business analytics solutions” provides competitive differentiation for users, according to IDC.

A key driver for that projected growth is that analytics solutions are now affordable to companies of all sizes and available through the cloud, dramatically reducing the time to get up and running. This translates to plenty of opportunity for solution providers to introduce or enhance analytics with their customers and become even more trusted as business and IT advisers to those customers.

The Impact of Social Media

In today’s business world, even the smallest businesses rely on Twitter, Facebook and advertising on LinkedIn or Google to find new customers and enhance their brand. But do they know what the impact is on their business, or what they can do to improve it? A strong business analytics solution can extract valuable data from social media, as well as point-of-sale and customer records.

Analytics gives companies a much more complete look at their businesses, allowing them to make quicker, more-informed decisions as well as reduce costs and increase efficiency and productivity. Plus, there are more user-friendly dashboards and mobile applications that provide concise, detailed, sorted information any time, any place.

Help your customers discover this rich insight by learning all you can about business analytics. Deploy it yourself if you haven’t done so. Business analytics touches many systems and solutions within an IT infrastructure, opening the door for further opportunities as well as services opportunities for solution providers.

Every company wants to turn more profit, make better choices and do more for customers, all at the same time. You can be that solutions expert that shows customers how to maximize business metrics within their organization. Bring them up to date with the latest analytics technology available now.

After all, the last thing your customer wants to do is partition like it’s 1999.

 

This blog was originally published on The Var Guy blog and has been republished with permission.