With more data being generated by devices and IT systems, companies stand to benefit from this deluge of information – as long as they can get a firm handle on organizing and making sense of it. Enter analytics. With automated technology that can comb through data and events to find trends, organizations can improve every aspect of their operations.

Benefits extend to areas such as personnel management, predicative analysis and budgetary decisions. Already, organizations in the healthcare and public safety sector have been able to reduce fraud and lower crime, respectively, by using analytics gleaned from massive amounts of information, sometimes called big data. Many businesses are exploring analytics projects with similar goals in mind.

Data analytics help IBM prevent mining equipment failures, saving companies billions
Analytics can sometimes seem like a nebulous term that has an unclear connection to actual operations, but companies of all sizes are demonstrating how careful application of information can make a big difference on the bottom line. Take the example of IBM, which now offers services to mining companies so that they can minimize the number of equipment failures.

To accomplish this, IBM draws data from many different sensors that are part of the emerging Internet of Things, the term for the growing apparatus of networked appliances that go beyond PCs and mobile devices. Companies may be able to save billions of dollars per year by using this analytics service. While a lot of mining equipment has traditionally included sensors that relay information to a communication hub, being able to make sense of it in real-time adds a great deal of value.

“We plug that into the analytics and we optimize the whole business operation,” stated IBM Research manager Denesuk, according to VentureBeat. “We can look for patterns and come up with risk assessments and costs.”

IBM can already track about 200,000 streams of data with numerous variables. The company’s algorithms take equipment conditions into account and also utilizes predictive techniques to ideally get out ahead of any problems on the horizon.

Police, healthcare illustrate additional benefits of analytics
Far from being just a niche service for heavy equipment operators, data analytics services have also become integral to the operations of public and private sector organizations. For instance, police departments in the U.S. and the U.K. have synthesized information to get a better sense of where crime is likely to occur.

Between 2006 and 2010, the Memphis police department saw a 30 percent drop in serious crime, likely as a result of its intelligence-driven policing. Ultimately, police can better prioritize their resource deployment.

Healthcare providers have seen similar gains. A University of Cincinnati study looked at how Medicare and Medicaid fraud have been impacted by improvements in data analytics technology. While this type of fraud costs between $29 billion and $99 billion annually, analytics tool have enabled controllers to get a better sense of suspicious patterns.

The rise of big data presents a grand opportunity to many organizations to improve operations and finances. With the right automation and assimilation tools, they can harness the power from large amounts of information to further their organizational objectives.