Analytics: The Widening Divide

In this second joint MIT Sloan Management Review and IBM Institute for Business Value study, we see a growing divide between those companies that, on one side, see the value of business analytics and are transforming themselves to take advantage of these newfound opportunities, and, on the other, that have yet to embrace them. Using insights gathered from more than 4,500 managers and executives, Analytics: The Widening Divide identifies three key competencies that enable organizations to build competitive advantage using analytics. Further, the study identifies two distinct paths that organizations travel while gaining analytic sophistication, and provides recommendations to accelerate organizations on their own paths to analytic transformation.




  • The gap is widening
  • Transformed organizations use analytics more widely
  • Transformed organizations leave others behind
  • Moving faster with analytics
  • Managing risk for strategic advantage

CASE STUDY McKesson: Efficiency at Scale


Engaging Customers as Individuals

  • Mastering analytical competencies
  • Competency #1: Information management
  • Competency #2: Analytics skills and tools
  • Competency #3: Data-oriented culture


The Most Distinctive Characteristics of Transformed Organizations

CASE STUDY: BAE Systems: A New Business Model Takes Flight


Two Paths to Transformation


The Collaborative Path Crosses Organizational Boundaries


Understanding the Path Ahead

CASE STUDY: Pfizer: Next Generation Sales Insights Through Analytics


Moving Forward with Analytics




About the Research





David Kiron is the Executive Editor of innovation hubs at MIT Sloan Management Review, which brings ideas from the world of thinkers to the executives and managers who use them to build businesses.

Rebecca Shockley is the Business Analytics and Optimization Global Lead for the IBM Institute for Business Value, where she conducts fact-based research on the topic of business analytics to develop thought leadership for senior executives.

Nina Kruschwitz is an editor and the Special Projects Manager at MIT Sloan Management Review, where she coordinates the publication’s innovation hub activities.

Glenn Finch is the Managing Partner for North America for IBM Global Business Services’ Business Analytics and Optimization practice, where he works with global business leaders to transform their organization into analytically-driven organizations.

Dr. Michael Haydock is the Chief Scientist for IBM Global Business Services’ Business Analytics and Optimization practice, where he works with global clients to develop advanced analytic solutions that deliver business value by enabling organizations to better understand and interact with customers.