This is a guest blog post by minubo, a premier Demandware LINK technology partner.

How would you know if you walked over a goldmine, buried beneath your feet?

The truth is, you wouldn’t. But wouldn’t you like some kind of warning, so you could leverage the value of the hidden gems? This kind of proactive information is far more efficient than blindly digging up thousands of square meters on a hunch, and is surely smarter than not noticing the gold at all.

It’s the same with analytics. Analytics tools can show you where the gold lies, but spending hours digging into tons of data is highly inefficient – all the more so if people aren’t actually trained to do an analyst’s work. Still, even non-analysts have to make data-driven decisions. That’s why the future of analytics is proactive. Analytics must proactively alert business teams when they’re sitting on a goldmine, or an ice floe that’s about to crack. Equally as important, analytics must tell business users how to extract the gold.

Your business is sitting on a lot of untapped value. Customers that are ready to buy on a certain day (if only they got an email with the right promotion); products that could drive sales (if only they were in stock) and campaigns that could generate new customers (if only they had been allocated a bigger budget). Don’t leave money on the table. Let your proactive treasure map show you where it is – and then take it.

Even if you know where the value lies, you still need to figure out how to leverage it. Therefore, the future of analytics is not only about proactive insights, but also about proactive action recommendations. If top-selling products are about to run out of stock, proactive analytics will tell you how many to reorder. If high-value customers are about to abandon, proactive analytics will tell you how to reactivate them. If incremental dollars can be made with a certain sales campaign, proactive analytics will tell you how.

Gold bullions are better than nuggets, but you won’t always have an entire bullion at your disposal. Instead, you can regularly collect nuggets by the data-driven actions you take each and every day. Collectively, they can add up to a fortune. The only thing you have to do is make sure that every decision becomes a good decision by enabling the entire team to work in a data-driven mindset – with analytics that proactively tell them what to do to increase business value.

Speaking of enabling the entire team – keep in mind that not everyone is an analyst, so not everybody is able to gain actionable insights from thousands of rows of data.

Data scientists are hard (and expensive) to find, and people without analyst skills are lost when left alone with complex analytics tools. So if you want to enable the entire team to make the best decisions, you have to make out-of-the-box insights and action recommendations available to them.

That said, neither analysts nor non-analysts will make your organization more efficient if they’re forced to dig into masses of data on the premise that they might find valuable information that they might be able to turn into action that might drive business value. So let a machine do the data digging and keep your team focused on achieve actual results.

To scale the massive impact that proactive analytics have on your business when the entire team is involved, you should let machines not only do the data digging for you but also let them trigger and implement immediate action. All you have to do is feed the data into your operative systems like, for example, email marketing, search engine advertising or bid management.

This is why the future of analytics is proactive: organizations have to be data-driven to keep up with fierce competition, and also stand apart from the pack. They can only do that if everyone on the team is enabled to do so. As soon as analytics proactively show everyone what to do to increase business value, then all at once, everyone becomes a gold digger.

To see what proactive analytics can do for your business, check out the new minubo Heartbeat feature.