As digital systems have been adopted by more businesses, data has become a bigger tool. This is due to businesses having the initiative to direct this data into creating strategy. Today, data services are a desirable component for a business to embrace. Let’s take a closer look at how businesses are expanding their use of their data.
First, we need to specify what we mean when we reference “data services.”
You may have heard the term “big data” before. Once exclusively available to large companies, this term is the shorthand for the collection and analysis of all kinds of data. As the technology has improved and become more affordable for small businesses to adopt, more of these small businesses are using it to their operational benefit.
Therefore, when we use the term “data services,” we’re talking about the services that rely on this data to function optimally, initiatives like business intelligence, analytics, and backup and disaster recovery. Each serve a different role within a business, but if a business makes use of each, they will deliver significant value. Let’s consider how each can (and should) make use of data.
If you’re using data to your advantage, you need to be sure that the data you are using is protected--the same goes for data that you aren’t currently using as well, as you never know when it might come in handy. A BDR platform ensures that--by backing up the data you specify - your important data and resources can be recovered after a disaster event influences them. More than that, regardless of the reason recovery in necessary (natural disaster, malware infection, or good, old-fashioned human error) a BDR can help make it more likely that the files you can recover are relatively recent and up-to-date.
A BDR is a network-attached device that saves backups of your data incrementally. For complete protection, your data is also pushed to an offsite secure location, insulating your data from the impact of a disaster upon your business. While a BDR can be purchased on its own, it is also a common component of a managed service agreement.
Business intelligence is the term for taking collected data and using it to make decisions that best maintain and streamline an organization’s operations. Using reports and other visual interpretations of data, BI is intended to improve business efficiency and productivity. Data is summarized to give insights into different parts of a business, determining how they have functioned, and why.
Using BI can help to identify where a business is strong (and where it isn’t) by analyzing financial and operational statistics, assisting decision makers support their choices through empirical data, rather than just their gut. With the bird’s-eye view that BI can deliver, it is much simpler to develop practicable goals and actionable game plans.
Business analytics, or BA, are somewhat similar to the use of business intelligence, as both use data analysis to identify where business could be improved. However, there are a few glaring differences in that BI focuses on past patterns and their current outcomes, rather than trying to predict the best course to follow for the future, as business analytics does.
To learn more about how you can make the most use of your business’ data, while protecting it and your other assets, reach out to the IT professionals at Washington Works. Start a conversation by calling 301-571-5040.
Washington Works has been serving the Bethesda area since 2005, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.