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How IT Taps Big Data to Optimize Digital Operations and Drive Business Advantage


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Big data is the fuel that powers business innovation and optimization. Leveraged through a robust analytics practice, it has the potential to help companies improve their operations, products, and customer experience. It can build lasting competitive advantage and even lead to new business models — but attaining that level of payoff requires multifaceted efforts. What strategies and tactics are the most advanced analytics users pursuing?

To gain insight into data-driven transformation, we surveyed more than 300 CIOs, IT executives, and data analytics leaders about their goals and practices. How are they managing the data infrastructure to support analytics within both IT and the business? What actions do they see as most necessary to improve analytics? What are their biggest challenges? How advanced are they on the analytics journey? What are organizations with the most advanced data analytics practices — characterized throughout this report as “leaders” — doing differently?

Among our findings:

  • Data quality is the top priority action for improving analytics, while data integration/transformation, storage efficiency, and data collection were all close behind in importance.
  • Goals for analytics become more business oriented as practice advances. While respondents overall are most focused on managing and improving IT infrastructure, more advanced practitioners are likelier to have analytics goals that include delivering results to the business.
  • Budgets have increased across the board for analytics, and are strongest for business analytics.
  • Real-time data is considered key to a range of use cases, including IT operations and security, customer experience, network operations, and business unit operations.
  • Companies have bought into the idea of single, multiuse data lakes. The most advanced practitioners are especially committed to data lakes: 96% either already have or are planning to implement one. But data silos persist at all levels of maturity.

The new report features more detailed insights into the current state of analytics in IT, along with perspectives on best practices from seasoned analytics veterans on how CIOs and other technology leaders can best gain advantage from their data assets.

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