Reimagining the Possible with Data Analytics? Some Answers to Your Questions

In a recent webinar, editors from MIT SMR and SAS’s Chief Research Officer outlined three stages of analytical effectiveness, and offered concrete steps on how to improve a company’s analytical capabilities.

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Competing With Data & Analytics

How does data inform business processes, offerings, and engagement with customers? This research looks at trends in the use of analytics, the evolution of analytics strategy, optimal team composition, and new opportunities for data-driven innovation.
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In mid-March my colleagues David Kiron, Executive Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, Pamela Kirk Prentice, Research Director at SAS Institute, and I conducted a webinar discussing the findings of our recent research report, From Value to Vision: Reimagining the Possible with Data Analytics

In the webinar we outlined three distinct levels of analytical sophistication that emerged in the course of our research — Analytically Challenged, Analytical Practitioners and Analytical Innovators — and outlined a path to how your organization can move from one stage to the next. A quick recap of the stages:

  • The Analytically Challenged, 29% of our survey respondents, are the least mature in their use of analytics. Few have achieved a competitive advantage with analytics, and even fewer have benefited in the area of innovation.
  • Analytical Practitioners, which represent 60% of our respondents, have made significant progress in their analytics journey. However, this group has not achieved a high level of competitive advantage and innovation from the use of analytics.
  • Analytical Innovators, 11% of our survey respondents, use analytics to gain a competitive advantage and to innovate.

As the hour-long webinar came to a close, we found that there were far more questions than we had time to answer, and far too many intriguing questions to leave unaddressed. Here are a few responses to some of the many terrific questions posted during the March 14 webinar (we’ll start with the basics first).

What is the working definition for “analytics”?

In our 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.

Which industries participated in the survey?

More than 2,500 business executives, managers and analysts responded to our survey conducted last summer. They hailed from organizations located around the world, with individuals located in 122 countries and more than 30 industries. We also conducted 29 qualitative interviews with leading industry executives, technology developers and academics representing a variety of industries.

The top ten industries with the most survey respondents included: IT & technology, professional services, manufacturing, energy and natural resources, financial services, government/public sector, retail, consumer goods, aerospace & defense, and healthcare services.

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Topics

Competing With Data & Analytics

How does data inform business processes, offerings, and engagement with customers? This research looks at trends in the use of analytics, the evolution of analytics strategy, optimal team composition, and new opportunities for data-driven innovation.
More in this series

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