Sponsored Content: CBR speaks to i4C Analytics about the use of advanced analytics in business intelligence.
Fabio Nalucci, CEO of i4C Analytics, speaks to Duncan MacRae about the company’s work in advanced analytics, and what this technology can do for your business.
1. What is ‘advanced analytics’, in a nutshell?
While the traditional analytical tools that comprise basic business intelligence (BI), such as query and reporting, can examine historical data, advanced analytics focuses on forecasting future trends and producing insights using far more sophisticated quantitative methods. This can include statistics, descriptive and predictive data mining, simulation and optimization.
Advanced analytics, when applied correctly, helps drive changes and improvements in business practices from the largest multinational conglomerates, to the smallest startups.
2. And what does i4C Analytics do in this space?
Our approach to advanced analytics is unique. Our Application Configuration Environment (ACE) provides an advanced visual modeling approach for traditional data scientists, as well as an automated modeling approach for less experienced business users and part-time analysts. This allows a much broader audience to access advanced analytics tools and apply the results across a number of vertical industries that may have never considered investing in the field previously.
As a result of the recent expansion of our international network of partners and resellers, we’re also pleased to report a pronounced growth of 75% in turnover over the last year.
3. What are the key trends in this market?
While the market for AA has technically existed for over twenty years, Big Data has not only accelerated interest but also posed significant disruption to the market. The sudden surge in information has increased demand for advanced analytics capabilities to the point where it is now starting to outpace the supply of expert users – this means that skilled users are being put under increasing and untenable pressure and there is a growing need for "non-data-scientist-friendly" technology.
4. What advanced analytics technologies do you offer and how do they enable enterprises to measure what matters to them the most?
I4C Analytics’ approach enables users to meet the demand for insight and simple but effective tools to provide this, head on.
Our APP-based value proposition is uniquely positioned in the market; business users can either build bespoke analytics software, or take the simpler route of fine-tuning one of the standard (ACE) Application Configuration Environment-based APPs available in our store. The ACE Platform focuses on providing business applications that make sense, not just complex and unwieldy algorithms.
Regardless of the kind of insights required, the analytics i4C provides are embedded in business user-oriented interfaces. This focus therefore avoids one of the main challenges for advanced analytics: moving from analytic insight to improved business results.
We make it easy for organizations, large or small, to get immediate benefits. Even more vital, the analytic models can be added, updated and managed easily to ensure long term value alongside short-term rewards. Because the ACE Platform integrates predictive analytics, forecasting and optimization it can deliver an appropriate combination for each business problem so our analytics drive better business decisions.
5. i4C Analytics has been named in Gartner’s 2014 Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics Platforms report. How has this been achieved?
AA has previously been the domain of highly skilled users in the marketing and financial industry, but our work, combined with the heightened interest in the field and the growth of Big Data, has allowed us to rapidly expand our client base into a wide range of new sectors. Today we are proud to support leading companies in the realms of energy, financial services, telco, manufacturing, retail and fashion.
As Gartner explored within this recent report, the interest in applying advanced analytics to business performance is growing at an exponential rate and the number of potential applications across all industries is effectively limitless. We are constantly excited by the innovative ways our clients are applying our technology and the results they provide, in order to drive their businesses forward.
6. How important is this milestone for i4C Analytics and how will the company develop in the coming years?
The comments from Gartner are fantastic but we have no intention of resting on our laurels. We are certain that our focus on growing our international network of partners and resellers, combined with our own unique innovations in terms of a flexible platform and advanced analytics APPs, have set us upon the right path.
Over the next few years we’ll be growing our client base and extending awareness of our company throughout Europe, the US and beyond. We are also in the process of developing new APPs, both ourselves and with third parties, and refining our existing tools; improving the flexibility for advanced users and extending the automated modeling features.
7. What predictions do you have for the future of data analytics?
According to Gartner, the advanced analytics market is estimated at $2bn at the moment. While impressive, this valuation is sure to grow. Not only is the market for AA expanding in APAC, but interest in applying AA to improve business performance is also advancing across all sectors. Previously the domain of a few areas such as marketing and finance, AA application is now extending into far more diverse fields.
Big Data will also become a vital consideration for brands as the sources of data and the volume of available information increases. All this unstructured, unwieldy information from millions of customers, devices and machine interactions will need ever-improving levels of sophisticated analysis to develop its full potential.