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What's driving the rise of advanced analytics?

Collecting and storing data is something that has been commonplace for some years now as big data gained momentum. However, it is only recently that we have had the tools and technology available to process and analyse that data on a large scale. Even five years ago, when we had the technology available to analyse data quickly, people were not really interested in getting insights in real-time and thought it was not relevant or useful to do things at such speed. However, this has changed dramatically over the last five years, and those who were once quick to brush analytics aside are now clamouring to get their analytics in place, as they now realise the benefits it can bring to their businesses.

Advanced analytics is now business-critical. It is setting the industry-leading businesses apart from their competitors, giving them the insights into how they can transform their business and revolutionise their industries quicker than ever before.

Increased adoption

We have seen a massive increase in the adoption of advanced analytics, as more businesses begin to realise the improvements they can make when their queries are processed and return results in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Businesses are now able to react to changes in the industry in real-time and adapt to their customer habits as they develop over time.

Not only this, but agility and scalability are two other key advantages that are enjoyed by businesses using advanced analytics. Agility is essential for all businesses as it speeds up their innovation capabilities and the time to market. Scalability is also imperative for businesses wanting to grow. More data can often mean slower query times, but in-memory database technology and advanced analytics can allow businesses to keep real-time insights, while expanding their data.

How advanced analytics has transformed retail

Retail is one of the forerunners that has been greatly impacted by the introduction of advanced analytics and Zalando, the largest online fashion retailer in Europe by sales, is just one of many companies who are profiting through the use of advanced analytics.

As e-commerce allows customers to purchase products 24/7, retailers can struggle to keep up with the vast amounts of data they collect on a daily basis. This data allows them to measure and assess sales, stock quantities and customer behaviour. Zalando understood that if it was to maintain its dominant grip on the European marketplace, it needed high-performance advanced analytics, which would help the online retailer to streamline the data handling process. This improved the efficiency of the data analysis, allowing the company to greatly reduce the query response times, and provided Zalando with greater flexibility to use its resources in other departments.

How advanced analytics has transformed mobile gaming

Like retail, mobile gaming has also felt the impact of advanced analytics in improving the way games are developed.

The creator of the Candy Crush mobile game, King Digital Entertainment, has developed more than 195 different games, which are available in over 200 countries in the world, and generates over a petabyte of data each year. With such an enormous data set available to them, the only way of truly harnessing it to gain insights into user experiences was to bring in advanced analytics.

The power of fast and accurate advanced analytics enabled the mobile gaming business to learn from the 1.5 billion game plays that were occurring each day, and used these insights to help develop its games to be better than before, giving it an edge over its competitors. Queries can now be responded to in a matter of seconds, meaning that business insights are available at the right times, and enabling King to provide its users with a superior gaming experience, which meant that it could maintain loyalty among its 149 million daily users and encourage them to keep coming back to play each day.

Next level analytics

Advanced analytics can truly push businesses to the next level, giving them a competitive edge over their rivals, and providing real-time insights for them to act upon. Once upon a time, advanced analytics was just for the big enterprises with the money to spend on expensive solutions, but now anyone can benefit from fast and powerful data processing speeds thanks to in-memory database solutions.

This kind of advanced analytics is something that will be adopted by everyone eventually, but the key is down to company culture, and whether the right people are in place to help the business integrate advanced analytics into the business strategy. It is down to C-level executives and senior IT managers to help instigate this change and promote the benefits to their colleagues. Businesses who act now and implement advanced analytics will reap the benefits of a data-driven business.

Mathias Golombek, CTO at EXASOL