About the Research

To deepen our understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of business analytics, MIT Sloan Management Review, in partnership with SAS Institute Inc., has conducted its third annual survey, to which more than 2,500 business executives, managers and analysts responded from organizations located around the world. Our analysis includes individuals in 121 countries and more than 30 industries. Participating organizations also ranged widely in size, from those organizations reporting under $250 million in revenues to those with $20 billion and over in revenues. Respondents included MIT alumni and MIT Sloan Management Review subscribers, SAS clients and other interested parties.

In addition to these survey results, we interviewed academic experts and subject matter experts from a number of industries and disciplines to understand the practical issues facing organizations today in their use of analytics. Our interviewees’ insights contributed to a richer understanding of the data and the development of recommendations that respond to strategic and tactical questions senior executives address as they implement analytics within their organizations. We also drew upon a number of case studies to further illustrate how organizations are using business analytics as a competitive asset.

In this report, the term “analytics” refers to the use of data and related business insights developed through applied analytical disciplines (e.g., statistical, contextual, quantitative, predictive, cognitive and other models) to drive fact-based planning, decisions, execution, management, measurement and learning.