Are You Ready to Compete in an Analytics-Driven Landscape?
Senior executives are understanding the need to invest in the people, processes, and technologies that empower insights-based decision making and decision automation to keep pace with their peers or leapfrog the competition, according to a new research study released by Forbes Insights and Dun & Bradstreet. The study illustrates that analytics has very high, cross-functional adoption across best-in-class enterprises. Once concerned with convincing their executive peers that analytics could have value and impact across the enterprise, analytics leaders are now concerned with remaining competitive in a technology and talent race.
“Our research revealed a need for immediate investment and business prioritization of analytics. With enormous quantities of data flooding our enterprises, many analytics professionals fear their initiatives will fail without proper support,” observed Nipa Basu, Chief Analytics Officer for Dun & Bradstreet.
Insight from the Study
One intriguing aspect of the study was the pan-industry adoption of analytics. The demand for data insights appears to be almost evenly distributed across a variety of industries. Manufacturing leads the pack with the most demand, but is closely followed by technology, retail, financial services, and insurance.
Another finding to note is that the application of advanced algorithms and formulas is moving beyond more general use cases. New analytics solutions covering areas such as geolocation, cyber security, and the Internet of Things (IoT) all drew significant interest. And in an indication of the importance of ethical business behavior, over 33% of the respondents showed interest in analytics that addressed responsible business practices covering key areas, like human trafficking and sustainability.
Who Was Surveyed, and Why?
The study, deployed in early 2017, surveyed over 300 executives across a broad range of industries, titles, and departments, and explored the current state of analytics adoption across numerous use cases. The study sought to understand challenges, pitfalls, and best practices for integrating analytics into established business practices, as well as to uncover how companies interpreted the phrase “analytically driven enterprises.”
One of the key challenges identified was remaining competitive in the battle for analytics talent. Over a quarter of the research respondents cited skills gaps as a major obstacle to their current efforts. Not surprisingly, over half of the organizations use outside partners to address the lack of skills within their ranks.
The study illustrates that analytics adoption is healthy and growing, but 38% of the respondents felt that their company needed to do more, citing lack of budget and issues with technology as the top impediments to achieving their analytics strategies. Basu affirmed the need for executives to strategically address the issue. “It is no longer enough to champion sophisticated data and analytic strategies to the C-Suite. Executives must invest in the people, processes, and technologies that empower improvements in processes, management cadences, and decision-making frameworks,” she stated.
In assessing their study, the researchers drew a compelling conclusion. Today’s business world demands that analytics best practices, technology, and personnel be an integral part of making business decisions, and today’s senior executive needs to make the right strategic investments in these areas. More importantly, the C-Suite and other business leaders need to spearhead a wholesale cultural change across the enterprise to help drive adoption and utilization of advanced analytics. Indeed, data analytics is the new competitive differentiator, and business leaders that grasp this and commit to it will succeed. Those who delay do so at their own risk.