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Data, data mining, and big data are topics that regularly appear in many newspapers, business magazines, or e-newsletters today—and all of this coverage is not lost on corporations, businesses, and other enterprises. According to research conducted by IDG, a staggering 78% of enterprises believe that, within a few years, the collection and analysis of big data could fundamentally transform the way they do business.
However, many organizations lack the resources and expertise to translate mass quantities of data into actionable insights that can drive real operational improvement. Too often, only small amounts of the available data is used and the rest falls to the wayside—wasted. Data just for the sake of data accomplishes nothing. The challenge lies in determining how to capitalize on that data and how to transform it into meaningful insights that can impact the way organizations operate.
One way to begin to do that is through a robust managed print services (MPS) analytics strategy. It will look at the print-related infrastructure within an organization and assess how that infrastructure is used, along with the behavior of the people who use it. This will empower managers to make key decisions about workflows, resources, and supplies. For companies that are unsure where to get started, here are three steps to capitalize on the value of MPS data, which can have a long-lasting impact on the business and the bottom line.
1. Choose Your Focus AreaA data analytics strategy can include any number of different types of assessments, ranging from maturity analytics to device and user analytics.
- Maturity analytics measure current MPS program maturity and identifies opportunities for improvement. It evaluates the current state of the MPS program against core business objectives and benchmarks versus industry peers.
- Device analytics can help capture volume data, financial data, and environmental impact data about a printer fleet. It can identify conditions like device underutilization or areas of the business that are driving higher than expected consumption, identifying areas of potential reduction.
- Document analytics help uncover why users print as well as when and where each touchpoint is happening. Excessive touchpoints are often an indicator of an inefficient workflow and a place where a process should be streamlined.
- Process analytics analyze an organization’s existing processes on a step-by-step basis to identify inefficiencies versus areas of value.
- User analytics doesn't just detect problems; it spots potential areas of opportunity within a business and drills down to the level of individual jobs. When the "how," "what," "when," and "where" is known about end user behavior, it’s easier to identify unusual or inefficient practices.
2. Tapping into MPS DataWhen organizations securely tap into user data related to an MPS program, it provides a wealth of relevant information. These intelligent, networked devices exemplify the Internet of things (IoT). MPS infrastructure hosts a rich analytics environment, providing data about user behaviors, their documents, and the processes that carry that information throughout the organization.
Partnering with an experienced MPS provider can help to take on the burden of back-end analytics management. An MPS partner’s focus will be on managing data, implementing analytics, and guiding the organization on how to best apply those insights, so managers can stay firmly focused on growing their business.
3. Safeguard to Protect DataAlong with the opportunity to benefit from user information comes the imperative to protect it. Organizations and their MPS providers must safeguard data throughout the process. Sensitive information, such as document names and user names, should be removed before uploading to a secure cloud environment. Data should be encrypted prior to transmission via banking-level encrypted HTTPS security, and data access should be protected to the same degree.
With these three steps, companies can continue to check into their data management process to see how they are doing. Data has a lot to say, and it’s crucial to listen every step of the way.
Ted Dezvane is the Senior Vice President of Managed Document Services at Xerox. Prior to this, Ted held numerous roles within the company, such as Chief Strategy Officer, Vice President of Strategy & Portfolio (for Xerox Services, now Conduent, Inc.), and Director of Corporate Business Strategy. For more information, visit www.xerox.com/en-us/services.