The analytics revolution is still at an early point in its development. Many companies are still struggling to figure out how, where and when to use analytics. Despite their analytical prowess, less than half of Analytical Innovators report that they are “very effective” at capturing data, analyzing and integrating it, and using analytical insights to guide strategy. Similarly, less than half of Analytical Innovators strongly agree that they share data with key stakeholders and have an integrated approach to information management. Even so, Analytical Innovators are much more likely to be able create a competitive advantage from analytics than their counterparts in the other two groups. In part, this is a matter of definition. Analytical Innovators are those respondents who say their companies are using analytics (to a great extent) to compete and innovate. However, the key lessons that we have identified from studying this group is that: (a) their orientation to data and analytics is much different than other groups. How Analytical Innovators think about analytics, how they support the development and dissemination of analytical insights, and what they do with analytics are very different compared to the approaches taken by the Analytically Challenged and Analytics Practitioner groups (b) We have boiled down these differences into three characteristics:
- A widely shared belief that data is a core asset that can be used to enhance operations, customer service, marketing and strategy
- More effective use of more data for faster results
- Support for analytics by senior managers who embrace new ideas and are willing to shift power and resources to those who make data-driven decisions
These are the main characteristics of companies that are, today, leading the analytics revolution. We hope that a better understanding of the Analytical Innovators will yield benefits for companies that are looking not only to create business value from analytics, but also for a more innovative way to compete in their markets.