What is Operational Analytics? How It Activates Better Decision Making?

on Activate, Hevo Activate, Operational Analytics, Reverse ETL • February 2nd, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Operational Analytics- Featured Image

If you are a Marketing Manager, you know the potential of data analytics. It can help your team harness the true value of customer, market, and firm-level data to enhance the effect of your marketing strategies. However, with multi-channel consumer presence, it becomes challenging to tap into consumer behavior.

Say you decide to convert your website visitors and known prospects into paying customers. In effect, you provide more touch points for purchasing your product. Along with your sales teams, you come up with marketing strategies and tactical decisions on approaching your leads. You get their sign-ups, push this data into your data warehouse and inform sales teams to follow up. But you realize they are unable to process this data in real-time since your database doesn’t update customer profiles synchronously. Your current tech only supports batch processing, instead of real-time.

In a dynamic marketplace, hitches like these can set your company for loss. If your competitors get to quickly pursue what your customers are looking for, and provide it first, they get to seize your sale. Fortunately, there’s one way you can do this better and faster. This comes through the use of “Operational Analytics”, a subset of Real-time Data Analytics.

What is Operational Analytics?

Operational Analytics refers to the process of preparing, measuring, and using data as soon as it enters your data warehouse. It is “analytics performed on the fly” as part of operational business processes. 

Such a process allows you to query and process real-time customer data like monitoring web traffic, user search patterns, demographic details on a real-time basis. Using reverse ETL solutions like Hevo Activate, you can automatically sync information across your SaaS platforms, making it easy for you to think, delegate, and act fast. As a result, your sales team gets to work on signed-up leads before you even tell them. They get to combine existing and new data to offer tailored recommendations to your customers, Impressive, right?

When your business uses ETL pipelines to ingest, transform, and store data, reverse ETL serves as an excellent addition to align and equip your front-line business teams with operational data. Near real-time automated solutions like Hevo help you perform ETL (ingest, load, transform data) from 100+ SaaS sources to your destination, and reverse ETL solutions like Hevo Activate help you operationalize warehouse data to CRM platforms like Salesforce and HubSpot.

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Operational Analytics vs Business Analytics: Which One is a High Yield Investment?

Traditional Business Analytics works on existing data repository to create Business Intelligence Reports. These reports help you extract valuable insights and analyze your current business strategy. As a marketer, you might create Business Intelligence dashboards, spreadsheets, and monthly reports to review your product performance and optimize its positioning. However, traditional Business Analytics works more like a holistic approach that considers your entire business as a single entity. It answers concerns on a broad level and doesn’t help your company to cash in on your everyday operations.

Operational Analytics is much more immediate and personalized than traditional Business Analytics. 

Operational Analytics, unlike traditional analytics, works local (multiple teams can use it to make their own decisions) and is applied to an incoming stream of data. It gets executed in decision time (that is, the analysis runs at the speed required to make the decision possible) and not in batch mode.  

Consider our previous example. If you were to use traditional business analytics to manage and contact your website leads, you would use historical data (can range from hours to days) to report on business trends and charts. You would wait for that data to load, pull it maybe twice a day, conduct meetings with your sales for assessment and then take action. That’s a time-consuming and sub-standard process in a fast-paced consumer world.

At times, decision-making for your marketing initiatives may involve participation from owners, managers, executives, and internal stakeholders, which in turn delays your time to act. By this time, chances are your target audience would have left the space, or maybe got replaced with a completely new audience with new interests. Crafting new strategies for new audiences would be a pain in the neck.

Using Operational Analytics, your marketing or sales team doesn’t need an expert or executive to make or support their decisions. With low latency data sync and accurate insights, any individual, even from a non-data team, can create new business ideas and processes with little risk. This small shift of empowering your employees and making them feel listened to can help in building a strong team culture and thriving dynamics.  

Why You Should Use Operational Analytics

Operational Analytics helps organizations to become highly proactive. Customers today are often both aware of the real-time analytics that keep happening and even expect it. From rerouting airlines to product recommendations on your favorite websites to instant credit issues on your credit cards- these are a few ways Operational Analytics impacts our daily routine. 

Good companies use data to make informed decisions over time. Great companies operationalize data to automatically take actions in real-time.

In a recent Capgemini poll, more than 80% of respondents felt that Operational Analytics plays a critical role in driving profits or creating a competitive advantage. In fact, most organizations have already achieved various improvements:

  • Reduced downtime, 
  • Increased productivity, 
  • Increased capacity utilization, 
  • Accurate forecasting capabilities, and 
  • Greater flexibility in responding to external events.
Operational Analytics: Operational Maturity Improving Outcomes in People and Processes
Image Credits: ARC Advisory Group

Operational Analytics doesn’t support big or strategic decisions, but the many small and tactical decisions that happen from moment to moment every day. Using so, even your non-data teams can leverage the information they want, right in the apps they use.

The best part about Operational Analytics is that you can use it in multiple areas of your business; providing you the ability to collect and look at data from different angles. Businesses use Operational Analytics to understand the cause of frequent operational inefficiencies and fix them. They also use it to react to customer behavior in real-time, which displays a positive sense of concern and a caring attitude. 

Industry Use Cases of Operational Analytics

Here’s how Operational Analytics has successfully helped different organizations across the globe get a breakthrough.

  • Mobility Service Providers like Uber use Operational Analytics to create seamless trip experiences, from determining the most convenient rider pickup points to predicting the fastest routes for its customers. 
  • Online retailers use Operational Analytics to determine which products are most popular in their stores and adjust their stock accordingly. They also get a real-time view of customer search and booming trends. 
  • Hospitals use Operational Analytics to predict the number of emergency room patients they will receive each day. Nurses can also use this data to prepare medications early on.
  • Banks and financial institutions use Operational Analytics to detect fraud and liquidity risk. They get to analyze customer spending behavior and classify them based on credit risk and other parameters. This data is used to provide customers with the right products based on their category.
Operational Analytics : Applications
Image Credits: ARC Advisory Group

Making Your Analytics Operational

Operational Analytics is a relatively new field for many companies, and probably yours. Prior to making your analytics operational, it’s important to know of the challenges that can block your company from effectively using its full potential.

Challenges to Operationalizing Data

  • One of the biggest challenges in operationalizing data is to create a modern data infrastructure with the ability to process data at high speeds. If necessary, your infrastructure needs to be able to handle surges in data volume and scale whenever required. 
  • If you are implementing Operational Analytics into your internal business operations, the number of technical tasks required to set up, and administer your processes can often make it an overwhelming and difficult task.
  • Suppose you are implementing Operational Analytics into your internal business operations. In that case, the number of technical tasks required to set up and administer your processes can often make it an overwhelming and challenging task.
  • Another common challenge faced by companies is to accept and deal with unexpected issues. Opening to a new way of analytics might seem like a disruption for your existing employees. Sometimes you might need exhaustive training to build their confidence around new systems. 

Hevo Activate- Your Go-To Solution for Operationalizing Data

Hevo Activate: Operational Analytics

We recommend using a reverse ETL solution like Hevo Activate to operationalize business data from your warehouse to target destinations like CRMs, Support Apps, Project Management Apps, and Marketing Apps. Hevo Activate features a robust, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface that can set up your reverse ETL pipeline in minutes, without requiring you to write any code. It comes with out-of-the-box connectors, which eliminates the need for your teams to create and maintain them. Moreover, your company wouldn’t need to maintain a modern data infrastructure. Hevo Activate runs on the cloud and will require absolutely zero maintenance. 

Hevo’s No-Code Activations sync data in real-time and provide you with options to customize your data replication process. Your teams can either choose to sync data continuously or define triggers for syncing between the source and target destination.

How Does Hevo Activate Work?

Three Simple Steps to Setup Hevo Activate: Operational Analytics
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Conclusion

Putting insights into action is still a challenge for many organizations. Despite the accuracy of analytical dashboards, they don’t deliver the necessary business value because the results are not integrated into operations. Hence, there exists a big gap between knowing what to do and what really happens. 

Operational Analytics solves this issue through real-time information sync from your warehouse to SaaS tools. This ensures efficient use of your operational workflows and systems. Using Operational Analytics, your business puts the power of Real-time Business Intelligence directly into the hands of your front-line business users to provide the maximum business value. 

With lowering costs of cloud-based resources (such as servers and data warehouses) companies today are indeed inclining more towards real-time data processing. If you’re ready to get started with Operational Analytics, a solution like Hevo Activate can be extremely beneficial to your business. With a myriad of pre-built source connectors, Hevo Activate quickly connects your warehouse to downstream SaaS applications, and your business workers are ready to use operational data in no time. We believe Hevo Activate can offer you a fully functional and highly cohesive solution for your operational needs. 

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Need more information?

If you have further questions about using Operational Analytics, Reverse ETL, or Hevo Activate, feel free to contact us at any time. If you would like to try out Hevo Activate or know more about its features, click here. Our website offers a great Intercom-powered live chat service backed by our amazing 24/7 support team to help you solve any concerns you may have.

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