Are You Ready to Take Advantage of Analytics?

Data analytics is growing in acceptance and importance. Ninety-six percent of senior executives say analytics will become more important to their organizations in the next three years. But at the same time many managers are in doubt about “big data” and what they can do to realize value from it. A recent Deloitte survey revealed that while it’s progressing as a decision-making resource, analytics remains in its early days with many companies concerned that they don’t have the internal skills to leverage it.

“The survey results show that while organizations are slow to fully capitalize on the full potential of analytics they are taking on smaller projects to demonstrate real results,” said Tim Phillips, DTTL Global Leader, Deloitte Analytics. “If used correctly, analytics can help companies to create more insight to increase sales, identify innovative opportunities and forecast financial performers.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Marketing and customers – Over half of respondents (55 percent) recognize the influence analytics is having on their businesses as their marketing and sales groups invest in analytics, second only to finance operations.
  • Structure is a challenge – The survey found that a number of c-suite executives are in charge of analytics within an organization. Twenty percent of the respondents surveyed said there was no single executive responsible for data and analytics. If there was an individual identified, it was most often the business unit leader (23 percent) or Chief Financial Officer (18 percent). This is leading to structural and communications challenges. Coordination and alignment is needed to realize the true value of analytics and internal discussions should take place to determine who owns the role.
  • Key barriers to overcome – Forty-two percent of the organizations surveyed believe their employees do not have the correct analytics skills. Organizations will be slow to fully capitalize on the potential of analytics unless they are able to overcome several key barriers; data management and access to talent are the most problematic. In addition, 31 percent of organizations believe the data they have is usable, but available only in functional, or process silos.
  • Analytics will become more relevant – Ninety-six percent of respondents feel that analytics will become more important to their organizations in the next three years. At the same time nearly half (49 percent) of respondents assert that the greatest benefit of using analytics is that it is a key factor in better decision making capabilities.

“Organizations are making strides to incorporate more analytics practices into their operations, but to get the most out of the data they are already collecting organizations need to have the right talent to analyze the data,” said Thomas H. Davenport, DTTL senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics and visiting professor at Harvard Business School. “Organizations should look to several talent-centric pursuits including evolving hiring practices to focus more on the data scientist role, hiring talented people with either computer science or analytics backgrounds, and by working with administrators and faculty at universities to create a Master’s program in data science.”




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