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Analytics: The Mark of a Top Performing Company


Top performing companies are twice as likely as lower performers to (1) use analytics to guide future strategies and (2) gather insights to guide day to day operations, according to a survey by IBM and the MIT Sloan Management Review. Here’s how top performers are using business analytics (BA) and what’s required to succeed.

Very few companies have a shortage of information—although for some, the only information available is of the historical variety. BA goes beyond this level. It gathers real-time data and puts it to work so leaders can determine “what is happening now, what is likely to happen next, and what actions they should take.” Companies are using BA to identify ways to reduce waste, create solutions, complete projects on time, improve efficiency, and document the right require­ments.

To unlock the true business value of data, you must decide what to do about the information you have. Some companies choose to use a consultant who can gather data, provide insights, and offer recommendations for taking action. To get to these recommendations, you’ll need:

  • Visibility. This means global visibility and stringent controls on the information that is gathered as your freight is delivered—whether by truck, rail, ocean, or air. That way, the data can be trusted as the basis for decision-making.
  • Analysis and reporting tools. BA developers create information solutions that will answer specific questions about the business.
  • Identification of trouble areas and development of action plans. Experts in BA help identify top challenges so the company can prioritize desired efficiencies and take action.
  • Processes for continuous improvement. Through collaboration, measurement, process improvement, and optimi­zation of the global supply chain, companies find business value on a continuous basis.

BA can provide the data and tools you need to make critical business decisions. As you develop goals, plan to measure and prove the ROI for all activities. Doing so can help you establish a continuous cycle for improvement for your business.