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Data is data, right? It varies in quality and origin, but it all winds up in my dashboard. It couldn’t have a material impact on the way I make decisions…right?

At a typical data-driven company, the decision process is fickle and fast-changing. Technology plays an important role in the way we transform data into insight, as does organizational maturity. Companies that have the right processes and internal capabilities in place are simply better positioned to exploit the potential of analytics and make better decisions.

However, Aberdeen Group’s research suggests that the type of data used for analysis can also impact the decision process and boost user satisfaction. According to recent research exploring companies that use Internet of Things (IoT) data frequently, there are several factors of decision-making that strongly correlate with the usage of this type of information.

1. Timely information

Research shows that IoT shops have a greater urgency for information, yet they’re more likely to get it on time. The volume and constant propagation of IoT data can certainly create challenges for companies, but it also creates opportunities to get real-time data into the hands of users faster.

2. Data quality

To a substantial degree, issues with data quality are born out of human error. Erroneous entries, missing fields, multiple versions of the same data, etc. Due to its nature of being machine-generated, IoT data is less prone to these types of quality issues and Aberdeen’s survey respondents validate that claim.

3. Analytical firepower

Any company using IoT data frequently is most likely engaged in analytical activities beyond just simple static reports. When handled properly, this type of data can fuel sophisticated predictive models and other advanced analytical techniques to provide real insight from the capture and usage of data.

User satisfaction drives analytical performance

For top-performing companies, their ability to improve these aspects of the decision process and then translate that value to their users is critical. The research shows that companies using IoT data on a frequent basis were far more likely to be satisfied with these key factors:

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With a strong analytically inclined user base, these companies were not only able to bring about a more efficient decision process, but also deliver double digit improvement in key metrics like revenue growth and profitability.

Connecting the dots between IoT data and business performance

On the surface, it might seem odd to suggest that simply using a certain type of data can impact a company’s decision process and business performance. The implication here is not that data usage guarantees performance, but that breadth of data usage, particularly IoT data, is a bellwether of efficiency in the analytical process.

Aberdeen’s March 2016 data preparation report highlighted several characteristics that Best-in-Class companies share. Perhaps the most important common characteristic is flexibility in the data used for analysis. Beyond traditional structured transactional data, top companies frequently leverage text-based unstructured data, rich media files, geospatial information, and machine-generated sensor data as well.

Understanding the pedigree of a Best-in-Class company helps connect the dots between data usage and business performance. Companies that are committed to capturing and storing IoT data, and exploiting its value in the analytical process, are able to create faster and richer insights, delivering substantial business results.

For more information, explore the full report: IoT Analytics and the Value of Data Versatility

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