Software in Analytics – the Changing Game

We have discussed in an earlier post how the explosion of data (especially in terms of new variables) is leading to a huge requirement of Analytics professionals who can work on data mining and Visualisation / dash boarding. They say that a picture says more than a 1000 words. And the world of Analytics surely seems to be following this.

We know that there are a large number of SaaS (software as a service) today which make all aspects of analytics much easier to execute than ever before. As the plethora of giants in this sphere increase in size ( SAS, SPSSS etc.) by acquiring smaller firms which compete in the BI space, so do the number of smaller players.

Two relatively smaller players that seem to be making an impact in the Indian Analytics space are Omniscope and Tabuleau.  Tableau works on the tag – ‘Data in. Brilliance out’ while Omniscope is ‘Interactive data visualisation for everyone – Prepare, Analyse, Present’.

(Note :-In this space SAS has its ‘ web reporting studio’  and Qlick view is an established player .)

The common parameters of evaluation include

  1. Ease of access to databases:-  Local / Relational (SAP , Oracle etc.) / Online / Mobile etc.
  2. ETL capabilities: – Can the Extraction, Transformation and Loading process be integrated into the visualisation software?
  3. User interface options: – What are the (multiple) ways of viewing the data (filtering, aggregating, charting, graphing)? Dash boarding capabilities? Flexibility of usage for core (BI) teams and business users?

From the business point of view, the terms and conditions of Licencing become important too. As well as the costs. And therein lays the differentiator. At a nominal cost as compared to a SAS / SPSS product, we can get equally fabulous reports that provide similar levels of interactivity and visual appeal. These thus become very sensible options for SME’s or large organisations looking at optimising costs and maximising client satisfaction.

As I see it, the future will see even the largest organisations using a mix of SaaS in analytics to deliver maximum value to the clients at the best cost. Maximising value and minimising costs is the mantra in the corporate world today. The requirement for relevant MIS to make management decisions will never diminish. In fact, as the awareness and expertise on usage of data increases, so will the usage of MIS .And the desire to maximise the take-away from the MIS will drive an analytics professional to find the ‘nuggets of gold’ in the ever widening ‘river of data’. The smaller data visualisation software providers generally integrate the recent/ newer trends in databases, sources of data faster into their existing products. Thus, as an Analytics Service provider / Unit will slowly move from one software to multiple software utilisation- depending on the demands from the client and the optimisation equation for the company / unit.

How will this affect the job market? I think that the skill requirement will change. There will be more Job Descriptions with requirements of exposure to multiple softwares in analytics. Thus, the future job descriptions in analytics jobs will look much like those in the Application development jobs today.

As candidates will be expected to quickly take up projects on diversified softwares, there will be a requirement for up-skilling / re-skilling. The need of the hour will be short duration software specific skill based courses which may often be sponsored by organisations to better the skills of their workforce and meet the demands of a changing market.

The attitude of the analyst will also have to be ‘open to new technologies’. Concept understanding will become very important as well as a positive attitude to learning new technology skills. Interviews will get more concepts oriented.

Interested in learning about other Analytics and Big Data tools and techniques? Click on our course links and explore more.
Jigsaw’s Data Science with SAS Course – click here.
Jigsaw’s Data Science with R Course – click here.
Jigsaw’s Big Data Course – click here.

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