As Exasol and Tableau come together at the Tableau Conference Europe, Carsten Weidmann, Technical Alliance Manager at Exasol, looks at why harnessing predictive analytics is pivotal to unlocking the underlying value of modern business.
The most successful organisations today are the ones that can see the future. It’s not witchcraft or crystal ball gazing. Rather, it is about companies working smarter and using their extensive data resources to power predictive analytics.
Be that data about your products, your suppliers, your customers, your competitors, your processes, your raw materials, your logistics and every other part of your supply chain. With the right tools and visualisation, you can unlock considerable insights from that data and get ahead of the competition.
Predictive analytics unlocks value from existing data sources. It’s far less about architecting a whole new approach, and more about repurposing historical data for better effect. When successfully implemented, predictive analytics can be transformative for businesses, delivering considerable competitive advantage. It enables organisations to improve profit margins, improve customer retention, and help generate new business when used effectively.
Predictive analytics is based on machine learning algorithms that systematically analyse large quantities of historical data to identify recurring patterns and anomalies. These patterns and highlights can be extrapolated, either visually, or as raw data, to provide insights into the probability of certain occurrences in the future, giving businesses a forecast of what to expect. They can then plan and pre-empt the market opportunity, rather than scramble to catch up when the opportunity manifests.
Businesses need to make sure they have the right tools in place to take full advantage of their historical data. A fast analytical database is key for running predictive analytics, and Exasol’s in-memory database can power your data analysis in near real-time to help predict tomorrow’s success. By having fast predictive capabilities, businesses can react to market behaviour equally fast, ensuring that they are always one step ahead of the curve.
One great industry example of predictive analytics unlocking business value is in retail. Smart retailers are using predictive analytics to drive everything from smarter stock ordering to aligning special offers and staff rotas with the weather and sporting events. Predictive analytics can help retailers eliminate unknowns from their immediate and medium-term future. That could mean avoiding running out of stock at inopportune moments – like burger buns on a sunny day when everyone decides to have an impromptu barbecue.
By using predictive analytics, running on advanced machine learning algorithms, retailers can optimise and automate decisions. They can order the right stock, in the right amount, exactly when they need it. Moreover, effective use of predictive analytics can aid retailers in reducing waste and write-downs, boosting profit margins.