Category Archives: Business Intelligence
The video below was created for UBM Tech’s site Business Agility (sponsored by IBM). The site, a perspective on business technology that analysts and managers face, went dark about a year ago, but much of the material remains relevant.
This video examines the importance of analytics, but from a perspective of business structure. Analytics impacts how your business operates. The iterative nature of analytics creates an opportunity to manage resources and tools. These operations can then be optimized for growing a business vs. mere acquiring a business. Looking at the leaders in retail and technology give evidence that analytics, when launched properly, can provide the right boost for a business.
What do think managers should focus upon to strengthen their tool set? Share your thoughts here on Zimana blog.
In the rush to learn big data, programming languages are becoming more central to solid analysis. The most popular so far has only one letter: R.
R is an open source language used for developing correlations. It is typically used with big data analysis on semi-structured data such as product reviews, images, and likes. It powering the heart of statistics modeling, programming, and data visualization.
Because big data interest has skyrocketed, so has the interest and usage for R. A Data Informed article noted that in a survey data scientists 70% of those surveyed are using R alongside other programming languages. In fact some applications include R into their interface for more cohesive analysis.
For those professionals still learning, the good news is that there are several resources available for R programming. Here are a few resources for those who want to get acquainted with R:
R-bloggers: This blog covers a number of R programming concerns and related topics. The best aspect about the site is a community with varying aspects of the R programming language – Over 450 contributors offer their insights and best practice techniques. A job posting for R-related positions also appears on the site. Check out more at the R-bloggers site.
Deducer: Touted as an SPSS alternative, this open source interface is designed for professionals who do not have a full background in data science. The GUI is free to download at the Deducer site.
R-studio: Another free open source GUI available, R-studio is designed to make programming in R more user friendly and easier to edit.
Datacamp: Datacamp is similar to a number of online course sites – Udemy, Udacity, +Tuts – yet it focuses exclusively on data science. Datacamp provides free training on R as well as a general overview of what a data scientist is. Additional resources are also available at the Datacamp site.
Data Science Central is a great site that offers insights into current data concerns such as Hadoop and data visualization. The site offers a comprehensive summary of initial data analysis techniques using R in the page Summary of R via Data Science Central. Data for some to the explanations are also available via a zip file on the page.
There is an online book for more advance techniques called, strangely enough, Advanced R by Hudly Wickham. The site provides an overview of data structure and functional programming, with a special emphasis of package development.
KPI are metrics that represent your company performance. The business benefit of KPIs is creating a means to measure how well your business is meeting its operational objectives. KPI usually takes the form of a ratio, though it can be either a count or ratio.
The post “4 Good Questions For Selecting KPIs for Your Business” lists a few key questions to ask in selecting a KPI. But no matter what, KPIs have two particular qualities meant to create meaning across all parts of an organization. Those qualities help KPIs provide a context to business performance that managers consider important. The two qualities are that…
- Management agrees on the KPIs needed. This makes the KPIs easy to understand, and help to order the urgency of response needed.
- KPIs relate analytics metrics to the business. Because KPIs can be specific to a particular business, many analytics solutions do not have metrics that neatly fit into the KPI format. But a few metrics can be helpful off the bat or be a part of a compound metric. The value depends on the purpose for your business.
Here are a few examples that can be found in a standard analytics tool:
- Average number of visit from a social media platform
- Average time spent on site or page
- Average order value by social media platform
- Average time spent by community
For other KPI ideas, look at suggestions on dashboard sites in the Zimana post “Dashboard Resources for Analytic Best Practices: 4 for the hip pocket” as well as “4 Good Questions for Selecting KPIs for Your Business“. And for more about social media influence on KPIs, read the Zimana post “When KPIs Socialize“.
KPI is an acronym for Key Performance Indicator. KPIs are metrics that represent your company performance. The business benefit of KPIs is creating a means to measure how well your business is meeting its operational objectives. What KPIs measures defines how well a business is running.
To select KPIs for your organization consider the following questions to guide your selection process.
- What are the company’s objectives? KPIs need to reflect the objective of the business to be valuable. Start with understand what the purpose of the business.
- What metrics will serve my boss’s or team’s needs immediately? KPIs need to have a natural urgency based on the business performance they are meant to measure. That means understanding what KPIs the boss or management teams needs to access quickly.
- What defines a successful KPI metric? For example, let’s say a bounce rate is a KPI. A high website bounce rate (above 40%) is an indicator of poor website performance. So a bad KPI in this instance is a bounce rate above 40%. Consider this approach, and make sure your team can imagine what a successful KPI should be.
- Is the KPI easily understood by the stakeholders? There may be a few metrics that your team needs to understand, but ultimately before a dashboard is created, the team who will manage that dashboard must appreciate the metrics encountered.
Sometimes other influences can play into a KPI. To see how social media can be a factor, read the post “When KPIs Socialize“.
This video examines an article on the fear of data visualization. Some manager struggle with hoe visualization is deployed. Watch and comment at the All Analytics site, All Analytics YouTube channel, or here at the Zimana blog site.