One example is the creation of the Operations Analytics practice at financial services company ABN AMRO. The team has an ambitious vision of building a broad range of tools to analyze how the business operates. One area ripe for growth is external connectivity. "One of the challenges that we're seeing at ABN AMRO is that our business is so connected externally that it's constantly changing, so we have a constant challenge of how we need to keep up with new data sources and devices that are connecting into our ecosystem, trying to consume that data and processing it," says Ashish Garg, ABN AMRO's executive vice president of global IT services.
As IT pros try to obtain data from log files, storage systems, application-only networks and other systems, it's critical to keep the number of data sources under control. Even with the latest tools and data sources, however, it's often too hard to absorb all the information and appreciate what new data may be telling you about the business. And that means that insights go begging. Users end up sifting through a wealth of information and wonder why none of it makes much sense.
An Operations Analytics team created virtual desks and snagged a blank wall for each worker. The idea is that analysts can use desktop virtualization to set up their own virtual desk and be instantly delivered with all the tools they need.
The second is to try to make that data more manageable. One way is to make real-time data -- such as transaction data from point-of- sale systems, for instance -- available via data warehouses and analytics tools. Another option is to download data continuously throughout the day using tools that specialize in continuous data collection.
The importance of data warehousing and data portability cannot be overstated. Users are more likely to make use of analytics tools if the data is stored off-premises or in the cloud. Also, users are able to speed up data access, thereby saving them money. d2c66b5586