Embedded Analytics: The Edge Midsize Businesses Need In The Race For Continuous Intelligence

Timo Elliott

Part 3 of the three-part series “How IT Drives Growth for Midsize Businesses

The core of every growing business is an ability to adapt to a world of new opportunities and disruptive risks. Every shift – from detecting the need for change to determining the best move forward – should be informed by data from both inside and outside the organization.

Such agility requires continuous intelligence, not a series of one-off analyses. The race for marketplace survival is a marathon of twists and turns dictated by an ever-changing environment. And the faster businesses can move through a cycle of data from insight to decision-making, the more impactful their innovation efforts become.

According to the IDC InfoBrief, “The IT Role in Best-Run Midsize Companies: Driving Value from Embedded Intelligence,” sponsored by SAP, this need to evolve is what separates highly performing midsize companies from the rest of the competition. Their secret? The adoption of the latest technologies such as advanced and predictive analytics, digital assistants, collaboration software, and ERP systems.

Technology Use Among Midsize Companies

Source: “The IT Role in Best-Run Midsize Companies: Driving Value from Embedded Intelligence,” IDC, sponsored by SAP, 2019.

Why evolving intelligence matters to midsize businesses

The most significant challenge of evolving to become an intelligent enterprise is imagination. High-quality data is a necessity, but businesses also require the know-how and vision to embed that information into the everyday processes of the organization.

For this reason, a large percentage of IT leaders from competitive midsize companies are integrating advanced, intelligent solutions – such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and blockchain – into their business processes and IT systems.

Technologies with Strong Impact on Innovation for Midsize CompaniesSource: “The IT Role in Best-Run Midsize Companies: Driving Value from Embedded Intelligence,” IDC, sponsored by SAP, 2019.

Although there is a lot of hype around these intelligent technologies, they do provide midsize companies the visibility, transparency, and automation necessary to take on a larger vision with the same resources.

This continuous-intelligence approach empowers businesses to turn every business process and interaction into an improvement opportunity with increasing maturity over time:

  • Descriptive reporting that provides a simple view of what happened in the past
  • Diagnostic analysis to investigate possible causes and ask questions while still surveying the past for incremental trends
  • Predictive insights derived from the calculation of previous results to gauge likely future outcomes by customer segment, product category, and regional economy
  • Prescriptive automation sophisticated enough to trigger the right action within predefined parameters

Data is useless – unless you act on it intelligently

As midsize companies continue to adapt and grow in an ever-changing marketplace, new and more efficient ways are needed to drive revenue, empower employees, and respond to customer needs.

But at the same time, it is important to remember that data alone cannot make this happen. Data and analytics-driven decision support and decision automation capabilities need to be embedded across technology architectures. And for midsize businesses, this tactic becomes a strategic opportunity that augments the talent of all employees with continuous intelligence.

Get more expert insights and recommendations on how investing in advanced technology can help address the IT challenges of growing businesses. We invite you to bookmark our series landing page, “How IT Drives Growth for Midsize Businesses,” and check it for new insights and best practices. 

In the meantime, read the IDC InfoBrief, “The IT Role in Best-Run Midsize Companies: Driving Value from Embedded Intelligence,” sponsored by SAP, for real-world findings on opportunities that can help IT organizations in midsize companies pave the way to long-term growth.


Timo Elliott

About Timo Elliott

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist for SAP and a passionate advocate of innovation, digital business, analytics, and artificial intelligence.