How are organizations using analytics? Can people access the data they need? Here are a few highlights from our newest survey.
How are companies using analytics in their decision making? To what extent are managers able to access the data they need? What are the key challenges, and how have the main business objectives changed? MIT Sloan Management Review and the IBM Institute for Business Value teamed up to ask business executives, managers and analysts to reflect on the role data plays within their organizations, and received more than 4,000 responses, representing every major industry and every region of the world. Complete results of the second annual survey are scheduled for publication in the fall 2011 issue, but this article provides some preliminary findings. A few early results stand out:
Only about four in 10 respondents have access to the information they want; almost one-fifth say they have limited or no access to the data they need to be successful.
The three biggest challenges people cite in using analytics are the difficulties of “integrating internal data across silos,” the time and cost of performing analytics and the lack of skills to interpret and leverage the data.
While the top three business objectives organizations cite for using analytics have not changed since last year’s survey, their order of importance has changed: Last year, respondents said the most important objective was “innovating to achieve competitive differentiation;” this year, the No. 1 priority is “growing revenue,” followed by “reducing costs and increasing efficiencies.” Innovating to achieve competitive differentiation fell to No. 3.
All told, the 2011 survey contained 27 questions. The charts in this preview article represent the answers to just eight of those, presented as simple raw data, clean and uncut. In the complete report, the new information will be combined and refined and, in many cases, compared to last year’s data to give readers a snapshot of what’s changed since our initial survey and the opportunity to benchmark their organizations in relation to their peers.