Employing the use of big data in the workplace enables companies to boost productivity while maximising cost savings. Understanding trends can help to reduce output costs that stem from unnecessary printing wastage.
In a world where knowledge is indeed power, the ability to follow and predict trends not only increases operational efficiency, but also curbs the need for unnecessary spending. With that, big data becomes an increasingly valuable asset within almost any field.
Simply put, big data utilises software tools that track, process, and observe happenings in real-time, then organises the plethora of information gathered in order to analyse and predict future behaviour. This allows for smarter management decision-making in response to observed trends, no matter the setting.
Take, for instance, the implementation of real-time data collection in the realm of sports. With the Super Bowl celebrating its 50th year, the NFL has progressed to utilising real-time information relayed from strategically placed sensors in stadiums and in players’ gear to monitor and predict plays. From tracking distance and movement on the field to sending alerts of possible head injuries, this US$400-million Microsoft-enabled fount of information is a literal game changer.
Of course, the athletes are not the only ones who stand to reap benefits. With the Super Bowl XLIX drawing an average of 114.4 million viewers, the game provided the ultimate advertising hotspot – with a 30-second ad going at a cool US$4.5 million. While that might not seem like much to big advertisers like McDonald’s and Budweiser, smaller brands would have a hard time clearing millions for a TV spot. Surprisingly, real-time data findings indicated that the online marketing sweet spot would actually take place after the game, and by using data to target specific customers could present advertisers with increased engagement at a far less exorbitant price. Aided by that data, selective marketing is able to focus efforts more precisely to their targeted audience.
In the same way, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can use components of real-time data collection to manage business processes. One of the key areas for such measures is device management, where a lack of monitoring leads to immense wastages of copy, printing, and colour.
An unmanaged print environment brings about many challenges in the organization, such as decreased productivity through clogged up workflow, wasteful print practices, and rising costs. In a Citigroup study, it found that if each employee used both sides of the paper to save just one sheet of paper per week, it would cut costs of up to US$700,000 annually.
These costs can be easily mitigated, as the tracking of networked multifunction systems and printers translate to better device allocation planning. Setting up enterprise-wide print policies to govern print access and frequency, as well as enforcing employee adherence to these guidelines, helps to save on resources while maintaining user satisfaction.
Additionally, using parameters such as time, department, and user information to generate usage data, a monitoring system can be implemented to provide full visibility of printing costs and a greater awareness of printing expenditure. With data collected in real-time used for report generation and usage analysis, you can determine device output history with ease, right down to the specific departments and its users.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), print spending as a proportion of company revenue can hit as high as 12% – far above the accepted average range of 1% to 3%. Using real-time data collection to manage and control an organisation’s output resources enables more cost-effectiveness over time, and addressing the hidden costs of printing can be the easiest way to cut IT budgets. This also helps to streamline report creations and reduce the amount of paper wastages incurred, which in turn, allow for lower output costs.
Fortunately, there are systems, such as the ApeosWare Management Suite by Fuji Xerox, which can provide all-in-one control of device and output management. Comprised of separate modules designed to manage the printing process, this advanced integrated software utilises data collected in real-time within the organisation to reduce excess expenditure. Ultimately, the goal is to shave off as many unnecessary costs as possible, and implementing an analysis system that uses real-time data collection to regulate print behaviour is a step that brings this plan to fruition.