When it comes to considering the concept of analytics as a service, potential users are left with no shortage of options. From cloud-based informatics solutions to for-hire management of all intelligence gathering and mining, the world of “AaaS” is still rapidly evolving out of stiff competition.
As Robert Gabruk, Assistant VP of Enterprise Analytics Practice at Cognizant noted recently, analytics is much more about interactions than mere transactions. As he says, companies are used to handling the plethora of transactional data, but that doesn’t shed much light on what the customer experience was at that point.
In Gabruk’s view—as well as Cognizant’s, “getting a better handle on that interaction and the different roads that different consumers go down and have those interactions, that’s where we need to get to. That in itself is a daunting task, so I think focusing on digestible business problems or preventing major business risk from happening.
Part of the key to turning transactions into interactions relies on a sort of strategic analytics approach. As he says above, outsourcing is a series of tough decisions, even if the choice (from his standpoint at an IT outsourcing company) is not as difficult as it may seem. As he stated, “At the end of the day, you can take big chunks of that work and I think outsource it or find a business partner to do it, but it’s not the best use of your time. On the other extreme, you have strategic analytics….Strategic analytics can absolutely give you a competitive advantage if you’re doing it right….”
He explains that with strategic analytics “you actually break down the business process so you understand what capabilities are needed to actually build a good foundational strategic analytics team..."
He continued, "Some of those skill sets can come from partners. Other skill sets absolutely need to reside within the client. Business contacts, understanding brands and sales teams inside and out, stays within the client context. However, if you layer on these virtual teams, that’s where I think we’re going, is that we these global virtual teams working together, so it’s a network or more collaborative way of doing strategic analytics and you can still maintain what’s important to you.”
Founded in 1994, New Jersey-based Cognizant continues to find a regular slot in the Fortune 500 as well as consistent placement over the last few years among Fortune’s list of the 100 fastest-growing companies. It continues to make a number of acquisitions to maintain a solid position in the IT consulting and BPO market, including most recently its Zaffera buy to lay deeper roots into SAP consulting.