The 2011 contest between Watson and previous Jeopardy! champions was more than a game. Contestants also had opportunities to wager their “earnings” based on confidence in their own capabilities, and their assessment of the competition. In the real world, too, competitors have everything to gain or lose. In today’s world, lack of an adequate analytics strategy is increasingly likely to put their future in jeopardy.

Our previous study showed the emerging gap between organizations that use analytics for competitive advantage and those that do not. This year, we see a divide that is even larger, and is rapidly widening. Taking advantage of new business models and new data, unexpected competitors are emerging and familiar customers are demanding unprecedented attention. Disruptions like these create a widening set of opportunities for players at every level. With a full range of analytics capabilities governed by an integrated analytics strategy, organizations are better positioned to widen, or narrow, the distance between themselves and competitors to their own best advantage.