Unlock Your Competitive Edge

|

article image
89% of enterprises believe that companies that do not adopt a data and analytics strategy in the next year risk losing market share and momentum. The biggest challenge in realizing value from the Internet of Everything is uncovering insights from the millions of connected things.

Spotlight

Rivers Agile

Launched in 2008 as a Quality Assurance consulting firm, Rivers Agile fulfilled the need for first-rate quality assurance services in the greater Pittsburgh area. The organization proved successful as a boutique firm and has matured into an end-to-end software solutions provider, focusing mostly on web and mobile development. We work with clients throughout the entire product lifecycle to help them achieve their strategic vision – from defining a new piece of software to refining an existing application or website.

OTHER ARTICLES

Predictive Analytics in Finance: Understanding What 2022 Holds

Article | August 9, 2021

The financial industry has been going through digital transformation for years. Digital technologies have helped to automate manual and tedious tasks like processing and reporting of historical data to forecasting and financial predictive analytics. The financial services industry owes its success to data. Data is constantly evolving in the form of market trends, client investment, customer service, campaigns. Data gives a boost to banking strategies. As reported by Accenture in a recent survey, 78 percent of banks have made the shift to using data for operations; however, only seven percent of them have extended to using predictive analytics in finance. Predictive analytics in finance has had a slow but steady start. It is an area of growing interest for banks and other institutions as new newer technologies launch in the market. To complete your company’s digital transformation, data analytics in finance will make a difference in that process. To be successful, organizations must have the ability to adapt to changes. Having predictive analytics on your side, your organization can deal with ever-changing circumstances with less to no difficulty. Understanding Predictive Analytics: What is it? Predictive analytics is a process of interpreting data to measure any possible future outcomes. It is carried out with the help of statistical modeling, historical data sets, and machine learning. The collected historical data is fed into an algorithm that recognizes patterns and forecast trends and possible future behavior from days to years in advance. Analyzing historical data and predicting the future has been an old practice in the finance sector. Banks and financial institutions have been evaluating past events or historical data for a long time now. Making precise forecasts in trends and analyzing data becomes easier due to predictive analytics. There is a wider scope to predictive efforts with more speed and accuracy and apply them throughout strategic and tactical business practice areas. Predictive Analytics in the Financial Sector: What are the Benefits? Many organizations are ready to accept the positive applications of predictive analytics but remain skeptical about the return on investment. It is worth understanding the potential of predictive analytics to any business big or small. It doesn’t matter if you are not in the banking sector to benefit from taking a peek into the future of financial performance. Any finance and accounting department can take advantage of advanced predictive analytics for the following reasons: Precise Monitoring The technology keeps a regular track of the consistency between expectations and reality to warn you about possible gaps. Risk Alleviating Analytics accurately helps you identify any possible threats to your business and warns you. Enhanced User Experience Predictive analytics guides you to recognize the strengths of your business and lets you know how to maximize customer satisfaction. Analyzed Decision Making You can understand your customers better with predictive analytics. With this information, you can correctly match your customers with the product in a better way. Importance of Predictive Analytics Most successful banking and financial institutions depend on predictive analytics because it simplifies and integrates data to increase profits for companies. Predictive analytics can improve different finance processes. But the importance of analytics goes beyond just banking services and actually goes into a better quality of customer service. Better customer service is only possible because of the advanced technology that shares customer feedback and preferences throughout the organization, in turn giving relevant information to every employee to make necessary product enhancements. To understand the importance of predictive analytics, below are some of its use cases: Customer first Predictive analytics in financial institutions and banking give you a complete profile of your customer base. It is impossible to contact every customer and interview them about their likes, needs and wants. This is where big data analytics in finance comes into play. It gives you the whole information about your customers regardless of the services they subscribe. Customers usually don’t have the same needs throughout their lives. As they grow older and have families, their financial needs change accordingly. For instance, a young person considering getting married will always try and save monetarily to buy a house, life insurance, college funds, whereas an older couple will save that money for their retirement. Apart from enabling different financial services, predictive analytics empowers you to serve individual customers with ease. Let’s take an example. When a customer applies for a loan, predictive financial services can help you analyze if the customer can repay the loan. Predictive analytics also helps offer alternative services like secured loans to customers who may not qualify for the originally applied services. Online Banking Made Better Consumer interest fluctuates in spikes. Predictive analytics informs managers enough in advance so they can set up online infrastructures in those areas. Predictive analytics has made it easier to identify a possible customer base. For example, it can provide metrics to the marketing teams. In turn, the marketing teams can target the customers with ads for probable mortgage loans or business loans in hopes of converting them into their customers. Data analytics in finance also helps in preventing and detecting fraud and abuse. Although detecting fraud doesn’t necessarily fall under predictive analytics, it can inform the IT department about potential scammers and which online services must be protected. Foreseeing Market Variations Predictive analytics can predict market variations and changes. By combining internal and external data, your organization can predict revenue growth in particular market sectors. For nascent or growing companies, predicting market changes is an important ability. Profitable companies should also be reviewed through predictive analytics to generate demand projections owing to the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Your return on investment can grow or reduce even with the minutest changes to the growth plans that would seriously impact investor confidence in the future. Predictive analytics also help to establish which marketing campaigns are working and which strategies need to change. Predictive Analytics and the Future: What Next? Technological improvements have allowed predictive analytics in finance to improve and change constantly. Any organization can use customized data solutions to meet your customers’ needs and reach new ones efficiently. Your organization can use predictive analytics to move your business and products ahead and understand how the market will thrive, giving you the much needed heads up you would need to change your strategies and tactics. Frequently Asked Questions Is predictive analytics is the future of finance? Predictive analytics is called the ‘future of financial software,’ which means it can provide accurate planning and cost-effectiveness. How can analytics be used in finance? Analytics helps in predicting revenue, improve supply chains, identify trouble spots, understand where the company is bleeding money, and fraud detection. How do predictive analytics benefit financial institutions? Predictive analytics can help financial institutions and customers detect fraud, financial management, predicting markets, improving products, better user experience, etc. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is predictive analytics is the future of finance?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Predictive analytics is called the ‘future of financial software,’ which means it can provide accurate planning and cost-effectiveness." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can analytics be used in finance?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Analytics helps in predicting revenue, improve supply chains, identify trouble spots, understand where the company is bleeding money, and fraud detection." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do predictive analytics benefit financial institutions?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Predictive analytics can help financial institutions and customers detect fraud, financial management, predicting markets, improving products, better user experience, etc." } }] }

Read More

Do You Know the Differences Between Business Analytics and Data Analytics?

Article | August 9, 2021

There are some fundamental differences between Business Analytics and Data Analytics, though both hold their own importance. For example, to discover patterns and observations that are ultimately used to make informed organizational decisions, Data Analytics includes analyzing datasets. On the other hand, to make realistic, data-driven business decisions, Business Analytics focuses on evaluating different kinds of information and making improvements based on those decisions. In this blog, we discuss in more detail their individual benefits and areas of expertise. Data Analytics vs. Business Analytics attracts a lot of interest from budding analysts; we will take multiple factors into account and help explain the difference between data analyst and business analyst.

Read More
BIG DATA MANAGEMENT

Taking a qualitative approach to a data-driven market

Article | August 9, 2021

While digital transformation is proving to have many benefits for businesses, what is perhaps the most significant, is the vast amount of data there is available. And now, with an increasing number of businesses turning their focus to online, there is even more to be collected on competitors and markets than ever before. Having all this information to hand may seem like any business owner’s dream, as they can now make insightful and informed commercial decisions based on what others are doing, what customers want and where markets are heading. But according to Nate Burke, CEO of Diginius, a propriety software and solutions provider for ecommerce businesses, data should not be all a company relies upon when making important decisions. Instead, there is a line to be drawn on where data is required and where human expertise and judgement can provide greater value. Undeniably, the power of data is unmatched. With an abundance of data collection opportunities available online, and with an increasing number of businesses taking them, the potential and value of such information is richer than ever before. And businesses are benefiting. Particularly where data concerns customer behaviour and market patterns. For instance, over the recent Christmas period, data was clearly suggesting a preference for ecommerce, with marketplaces such as Amazon leading the way due to greater convenience and price advantages. Businesses that recognised and understood the trend could better prepare for the digital shopping season, placing greater emphasis on their online marketing tactics to encourage purchases and allocating resources to ensure product availability and on-time delivery. While on the other hand, businesses who ignored, or simply did not utilise the information available to them, would have been left with overstocked shops and now, out of season items that would have to be heavily discounted or worse, disposed of. Similarly, search and sales data can be used to understand changing consumer needs, and consequently, what items businesses should be ordering, manufacturing, marketing and selling for the best returns. For instance, understandably, in 2020, DIY was at its peak, with increases in searches for “DIY facemasks”, “DIY decking” and “DIY garden ideas”. For those who had recognised the trend early on, they had the chance to shift their offerings and marketing in accordance, in turn really reaping the rewards. So, paying attention to data certainly does pay off. And thanks to smarter and more sophisticated ways of collecting data online, such as cookies, and through AI and machine learning technologies, the value and use of such information is only likely to increase. The future, therefore, looks bright. But even with all this potential at our fingertips, there are a number of issues businesses may face if their approach relies entirely on a data and insight-driven approach. Just like disregarding its power and potential can be damaging, so can using it as the sole basis upon which important decisions are based. Human error While the value of data for understanding the market and consumer patterns is undeniable, its value is only as rich as the quality of data being inputted. So, if businesses are collecting and analysing their data on their own activity, and then using this to draw meaningful insight, there should be strong focus on the data gathering phase, with attention given to what needs to be collected, why it should be collected, how it will be collected, and whether in fact this is an accurate representation of what it is you are trying to monitor or measure. Human error can become an issue when this is done by individuals or teams who do not completely understand the numbers and patterns they are seeing. There is also an obstacle presented when there are various channels and platforms which are generating leads or sales for the business. In this case, any omission can skew results and provide an inaccurate picture. So, when used in decision making, there is the possibility of ineffective and unsuccessful changes. But while data gathering becomes more and more autonomous, the possibility of human error is lessened. Although, this may add fuel to the next issue. Drawing a line The benefits of data and insights are clear, particularly as the tasks of collection and analysis become less of a burden for businesses and their people thanks to automation and AI advancements. But due to how effortless data collection and analysis is becoming, we can only expect more businesses to be doing it, meaning its ability to offer each individual company something unique is also being lessened. So, businesses need to look elsewhere for their edge. And interestingly, this is where a line should be drawn and human judgement should be used in order to set them apart from the competition and differentiate from what everyone else is doing. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Your business is unique for a number of reasons, but mainly because of the brand, its values, reputation and perceptions of the services you are upheld by. And it’s usually these aspects that encourage consumers to choose your business rather than a competitor. But often, these intangible aspects are much more difficult to measure and monitor through data collection and analysis, especially in the autonomous, number-driven format that many platforms utilise. Here then, there is a great case for businesses to use their own judgements, expertise and experiences to determine what works well and what does not. For instance, you can begin to determine consumer perceptions towards a change in your product or services, which quantitative data may not be able to pick up until much later when sales figures begin to rise or fall. And while the data will eventually pick it up, it might not necessarily be able to help you decide on what an appropriate alternative solution may be, should the latter occur. Human judgement, however, can listen to and understand qualitative feedback and consumer sentiments which can often provide much more meaningful insights for businesses to base their decisions on. So, when it comes to competitor analysis, using insights generated from figure-based data sets and performance metrics is key to ensuring you are doing the same as the competition. But if you are looking to get ahead, you may want to consider taking a human approach too.

Read More

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A CAREER IN DATA SCIENCE?

Article | August 9, 2021

The continuous advancements in technology and the increasing use of smart devices are leading tremendous growth in data. Considering reports, more than 2.5 Quintilian bytes of data are generated on a daily basis and it is expected that 1.7 Mb of data will be produced every second in the near future. This is where data scientists play an influential role in analyzing these immense amounts of data to convert into meaningful insights. Data science is an overriding method today that will remain the same for the future. This drives the need for skilled talent across industries to meet the challenges of data analytics and assist delivering innovation in products, services and society.

Read More

Spotlight

Rivers Agile

Launched in 2008 as a Quality Assurance consulting firm, Rivers Agile fulfilled the need for first-rate quality assurance services in the greater Pittsburgh area. The organization proved successful as a boutique firm and has matured into an end-to-end software solutions provider, focusing mostly on web and mobile development. We work with clients throughout the entire product lifecycle to help them achieve their strategic vision – from defining a new piece of software to refining an existing application or website.

Events