It doesn’t matter what level of business you’re in, be it providing raw materials at the primary level, manufacturing at the secondary, or providing services at the tertiary level, your business runs on data. The type of data may be different, but how you manage that data and how you respond to changes will determine how successful you are in your field.
Managing data successfully requires a variety of hardware and software designed to not only accept data, but also store it and return it to you in a way that makes it easy to read. After all, the best data in the world is only gibberish if it’s not in a format that you can understand and respond to. The best business decisions come from reacting quickly in a changing market to a constant influx of new information. This is nothing new, of course. Even in 2009, The Wall Street Journal published a piece on innovation and the importance of evolving to meet new demands.
There are a lot of choices on the software side of how you interpret and accept new information. The competitive nature of business demands that new software will always come on the market. It’s up to you then, to make the choice of choosing between the new guy vs. a known leader in the field. Both are attractive to different business sectors, and it’s important that you get all the information to make the right choice.
Two major factors in any software decision come down to ease of input and ease of access. How quickly data can be inserted into the program and produced in a readable format is of utmost importance. Depending on the type of data you have, you may favor one software suite over another.
On the hardware side, it’s all about storage and cost. Managing your own data center can be costly, but also guarantees the safety and security of your data. But you have to keep in mind what goes into creating a data center for your business. The essential pieces of a data center require a robust infrastructure to manage. Unless your business is large enough to handle and staff such needs, going with a known company to manage cloud storage is more reasonable.
Cloud storage allows you to have all the benefits of a data center at a fraction of on-site storage. The trade-off, of course, is that you are giving up some security, as the data center is not on an isolated network. However, unless you’re dealing with highly classified or sensitive information, the security that is in place for most off-site data storage centers is more than adequate to meet most company needs.
Business intelligence is a demanding field, but one that is essential to every business of every size. How you meet the demands of analyzing the data in your industry is important to determining how competitive you will remain. By putting at least a major portion of your focus on interpretation and analyzing incoming information, you can ensure that your bottom line will continue to grow and your business will flourish.