1. Please tell us a few things about the concept of the ‘democratization of analytics’ and how it is perceived by Romanian companies.
Analytics are everywhere – managing business processes, shaping customer interactions, embedded in our smart phones and the apps we use. Through our experiences both as consumers and employees, we are becoming more aware of what data and analytics can do for us. We’re more attentive to the data we’ve got, and we use it differently. We become more curious, asking for more and better data, assuming that answers must be obtainable somewhere. We’re asking smarter questions, and the answers create business value.
We call this trend the ‘democratization of analytics.’ No longer the exclusive province of statisticians and specialists, analytics are for all of us, as we become more data-driven and analytical in our thinking and our work.
Ten years ago, ‘forecasting’ often meant the budget process. And if you said ‘predictive analytics,’ people’s eyes might glaze over. Today, we recognize what analytical models can help us do – anticipate customer responses, predict customer or employee attrition, optimize allocation of resources of all kinds, make smarter decisions faster. We may not be able to build the complex models and simulations ourselves, but we can appreciate and capitalize on the outputs of advanced analytics.
This democratization of analytics is a person-by-person phenomenon. However, collectively, these grassroots analysts are changing how enterprises function, and changing them in ways that the enterprise cannot directly control. This is happening whether enterprises like it or not. Leadership’s role is to encourage and enable citizen data scientists, steer them a bit through challenging goals, and empower their creativity and impact. The democratization of analytics makes for interesting times and enormous business opportunity.
The majority of Romanian companies are still either not on an analytical journey or, those who are engaged in analytics, are not ‘democratized’. I could explain this situation as part of the legacy that we have; nevertheless, the good news comes from the newcomers in the analytical world that understand and appreciate the power of analytical ‘democracy’ – quick improvements and short learning curve.
2. At worldwide level, SAS has morphed from a tools-based analytics company into a solutions-based company. What kind of solutions has SAS Romania provided in 2016, for whom, and how have these solutions been received?
In 2016, SAS Romania continued its traditional business strategy focused on the financial industry – and here we have delivered dedicated solutions for Marketing Optimisation and for Risk Management. Nonetheless, we are steadily advancing into the manufacturing and energy territories, where we are consolidating our position – especially into the Data Management & Information Systems, closely followed by the Forecasting and Operational Optimization.