A growing desire by organisations to gain value from their data is spawning lucrative opportunities for channel partners across Australia and New Zealand.
With an increasing proportion of business processes becoming digitised, organisations within many industry sectors are finding the volume of data being generated is growing rapidly. When you add emerging areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), that growth rate quickly becomes exponential.
The challenge is that, while the principle of gaining insight from data appears simple, actually doing so can be difficult. There is a universe of data available. Enterprises need to develop strategies in respect of what data to focus on; the value that data could add to them and those in their ecosystem like their supply chain and customers; and the tactics they must deploy in order to achieve their goals.
The rise of data for everyone
The use of data analytics tools and platforms is not a new trend. Channel partners have been providing support for users of Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics tools for years.
What's supporting the increase of channel opportunities, however, is a shift in how analytics tools are being used. Rather than remaining out of reach to all but a technically minded few, analytics is becoming a self-service resource available to anyone who requires it.
For example, historically, if a salesperson wanted insights into the impact a promotion had on revenues, a request would have been made to an analytics specialist who would have queried the data and generated the report. If the salesperson had further questions, it would mean running another static report and waiting for the results. In a real time and hyper connected world, such an inflexible and time-consuming process is no longer acceptable.
In the era of self-service analytics, staff can run queries whenever they like and without the technical training previously required. It's a gamechanger. Now anyone can interrogate data and gain insights immediately. It promotes faster and better-informed decision making. The advantages of this new approach speak for themselves.
The channel potential
The rise of self-service analytics platforms, together with the ongoing rapid growth in data volumes, is what's underpinning massive growth opportunities for channel partners. Those, such as DataSpark Analytics who recently supported Coopers Brewery with dashboard data analytics to support their supply chain or MIP who undertook a data visualisation project for William Angliss Insitute to deliver planning, understand this trend, can work with clients to realise their potential and will be well placed to secure a healthy piece of a growing pie.
To take maximum advantage of the opportunities in the marketplace, channel partners need to consider some important factors. These include:
- Help customers become data driven organisations
Most companies want to become more data driven. However, simply investing in technology will not achieve this goal. Those channel partners that can help customers become data driven organisations will become market leaders. This includes advisory and services work spanning areas like setting up in house committees, promoting best practices in data governance and security, promoting super user groups, agile and flexible deployment of technology as well as strong post-sales support.
- Evaluate industry sectors:
Data analytics platforms are being adopted at different rates in different sectors, but opportunity exists in all. Working with a chosen analytics technology vendor, evaluate the circumstances in your current target sectors and identify where demand is likely to exist. Maintaining a tight focus means resources can be allocated in the most effective way. Equally important is to stay informed about the trends and challenges that customers in the targets sectors so that the channel partners are well equipped to help solve customers' problems.
- Identify target geographies:
It's tempting to think that analytics tools are used only by large organisations in big city locations, but this is far from the case. Regional players stand to benefit from their capabilities and should not be ignored. Arguably those outside the main cities may be underserved which spells greenfield opportunities. Examine your existing client list to determine where the best prospects might be located and ensure their needs are being met.
- Expand the technology stack:
Because channel partners often have long-term relationships with their clients, they gain an understanding of their existing technology stacks. Many have worked to deploy critical platforms such as ERP and CRM, which means they are well placed to identify where a data analytics platform could be integrated to provide maximum benefit.
- Monitor new trends:
Data analytics is a rapidly evolving area and the most successful channel partners will be those who monitor things closely. One example is a shift towards greater use of embedded analytics where an organisation's data is made available to external parties. Examples include banks that make customer records available to Fintech firms or car makers who open diagnostic feeds to component makers. Such developments will open fresh opportunities to work with customers as they deploy new analytics platforms.
- Develop joint solutions
Channel partners who collaborate with self-service vendors to develop solutions to address customer problems will be particularly successful. Global system integrators routinely team with self-service analytic vendors to develop solutions for specific departments, for example, human resources or for specific customer needs such as risk management in FSI companies. By so doing channel partners build up domain knowledge and differentiate themselves from their competition.
A strong future
Self-service analytics is relatively new. The amount of data being generated each day is growing exponentially . More organisations will come to see data as a resource that can deliver significant value and provide them a competitive edge.
For channel partners, this represents a massive opportunity. Clients will need assistance with identifying the most appropriate analytics platforms, deploying the technology and ensuring it is effectively integrated with existing systems and data stores.
By working closely with a chosen technology partner, channel operators will be able to ensure they best placed to meet these client requirements. The rise of self-serve data analytics will continue to create new and exciting opportunities for many years to come.