We often hear a lot about “data curiosity.” It’s our term for what’s enabled—and ignited—when a data analytics tool becomes truly interactive, allowing users to ask and immediately answer a virtually unlimited number of data-dependent questions.
Tools that turbocharge data curiosity represent table stakes in this new world of next-generation business analytics platforms. Incorta’s corporate DNA embodies and amplifies this perspective—and it can revolutionize an entire business when unleashed.
I first experienced this kind of data curiosity-driven revolution after deploying Incorta at Nortek Security & Control, where I was CIO. As a market leader, Nortek needed to protect its market share and leadership position against constant threats from new competitors. We initially deployed Incorta to quickly understand which distribution channels, customers, and products were most profitable—all while integrating complex data sets and legacy data warehouses from 10 recent acquisitions, and preventing new China tariffs from negatively impacting our business.
But what we didn’t realize at the time was how much Incorta would transform how everyone at Nortek makes decisions and solves problems. Now, Nortek leaders—and all analytics users, for that matter—use data to make decisions in very different, much more powerful ways.
So what exactly does this kind of data curiosity and decision-making look like?
For Nortek, it looks like this:
Access to top-level, aggregated data AND individual, transactional data
Want to know what’s behind the summary analytics? With Incorta, drilling down to the most granular detail among 200 million transactions spread across multiple systems takes less than a second for Nortek users.
I can’t overstate how valuable it is to seamlessly, instantaneously flip back and forth between these two extremes. It immediately instills confidence and promotes an exploration mindset—which is diametrically opposed to Nortek’s previous environment where users were forced to passively sit back and simply receive prepared analysis, with no access to transactional details.
Unlimited dimensionality (perspectives)
Before Incorta, Nortek needed to pre-define dimensions (e.g., product, customer, location) in order to achieve performance. This necessity required significant time being spent extracting, blending, and shaping data, and preparing the data analysis cubes that pre-defined a limited set of drill-down paths.
Incorta’s next-generation analytics engine—which performs at scale on the original data structure—freed Nortek users to pursue any dimension because it bypasses almost all of the previous, time-consuming tasks. We could pursue our data curiosity wherever the data led us, at whatever detail we wanted—and focus on using the tool to deliver real results.
Ability to peel all of the layers of the onion at once—then ACT!
Before Incorta, analysis was like peeling an onion one layer at a time. A question was asked, analysis was performed—then those results begged another question, another analysis, and so on. Sometimes the proverbial onion held dozens of layers, and it would take hours, days, or even weeks to peel each one.
With Incorta, you can peel all of the layers of the onion at once. And that’s exactly what Nortek did in response to the various tranches of the China tariff crisis. Because we could look at all supply chain and sales data from every single dimension, we cranked through all “what-if” scenario analyses across the entire business in only a matter of hours. We saved weeks of time and tons of money with this new approach, and were able to quickly pull the trigger on thousands of impactful actions across our supply chain—including repricing thousands of products across thousands of customers only hours after a major development in the China Trade War.
Transforming the daily and weekly routines of many employees
Because of Incorta, Nortek business users are less focused on crunching data and analyzing data in Excel, and more focused on asking questions of the data and being explorers of the critical issues they face in the business.
Using Incorta helps all users understand and then develop action plans far more quickly than was ever before possible. And this action-oriented mindset makes all the difference for the business.
Transforming the way in which I, as CIO, interacted with the company’s CEO, CFO, and COO
Before Incorta, I largely was in reactive mode; my team’s backlog of requests for data and reports was consistently overwhelming.
Incorta made my ability to add value to the organization much more immediate and profound. We could focus on building interactive tools and real-time, operational intelligence that let us move from simply reacting, to proactively driving our business. We found that Incorta empowered us to more frequently solve even the most complex problems in only one meeting, with attendees walking away with definitive decisions and action items.
Phenomenal results like these reinforce how valuable “data curiosity” is to an organization. Incorta’s immediacy and flexibility—and the ability to iterate quickly—not only lets Nortek users be data-curious; it lets them act upon that data curiosity to help the company gain a competitive market advantage.
That’s what Incorta-powered data curiosity does for Nortek.
Original Post by written by Brian Keare, Field CIO of Incorta, Former CIO of Nortek
To analyze large volumes of complex business data typically required investment in a costly, time-consuming data warehouse infrastructure. Even then, the data analyzed is oftentimes a day or more old— frustrating analysts and the IT team alike.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. eCapital’s solution partner, Incorta, has developed a Direct Data Mapping engine that opens the door to a more powerful yet simpler approach to enterprise analytics.