A World Class Company: Using Big Data

17
Feb
Steve Ross

Written by Steve Ross, 17 February 2016

The key to success for any business, large or small, is not to rely on what you think you know. In the third of our World Class Company blogs, I take a look at how the power of “Big Data” can be harnessed by businesses of all sizes…

Achieving Our Goals

Shackleton have been in business for 12 years now, but as discussed in my previous blog, we are constantly striving towards our next goal by pushing each other to improve our methods.

With this in mind, we are currently in the process of reviewing our standing KPIs, the signposts that signify how well the business is performing. With our sights set firmly upon becoming a World Class IT Provider, it feels like the time is right to look at exactly what we are reporting on, understanding how this impacts our clients, and deciding precisely how we choose the right data to work with.

The term "Big Data" is the current business buzzword – with everybody from the UK Government to large corporations and even the Six Nations rugby tournament suddenly focused on what Big Data is and how it can be used to provide an extra layer of analytical insight to processes and decision making.

Just What Is Big Data?

While the term varies depending on the source, at it’s simplest Big Data is described as analysing large data sets to reveal patterns or associations. In many cases, these trends relate to human behaviours.

It got me thinking; is “Big Data” as we see it today a new phenomenon, or has it always been with us as an essential business skill? Isn’t this what we have always done with captured data?

A cursory glance at Google will have you believing that Big Data has just arrived, but I remember drilling down into large volumes of data to find user behaviours and trends using a "top-down" approach way back in the 1990s, when I worked for the NHS using a contract management system.

To me it seems that the method of Big Data analysis has always been available to those who seek it out, so why has Big Data suddenly come to the forefront of business decision making?

One simple answer is that today we have readily accessible tools and software available that were simply not available before the early 2000’s. Essentially, the ability to use Big Data has been given to all businesses, regardless of size or industry.

Shackleton’s Big Data

Shackletons own Big Data is provided by one of the leading management solutions for IT service providers. As a fully cloud based solution known as a "Software as a Service" platform, this product provides us with valuable, constant data in areas such as sales forecasting, contract profitability and service desk efficiency amongst others.

By taking the time to drill down into these numbers, we can really get a feel for how Shackleton is performing. Whilst this type of information was at one time only available to larger organizations using systems that cost thousands of pounds, the introduction of cloud based software that does the same job for a small monthly fee has revolutionised the way companies can interact and analyse the data that they have been collecting for years.

So how does this relate to our journey towards becoming a World Class IT Provider?

The data we are analysing allows us to be well informed and better prepared. Armed with relevant and timely information we have the basis to make the right decisions for the business, and ultimately, the right decisions for our clients.


Learn more about Shackletons journey to becoming a world class IT service provider by getting in touch below...

 

Shackleton's View: How We Deal with Malware

Malware attacks can grind small businesses down, but don't despair: we're sharing the process we use to address infections in our clients networks...

So You Think You've Been Infected?

When an infection occurs, the damage can be varied, from performance issues to theft of personal information or data loss. In the most severe cases, how your organisation reacts could make all the difference to your recovery...