IOD 11 Dispatch: Crossing the 'Analytics Divide'
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  ibmsoftware iod11 information-insights
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Nov. 14 Update: This report is now available for free download here.
This year, nearly sixty percent more organizations said analytics drive better business outcomes than said so in 2010, according to a soon-to-be-released report by the IBM Institute for Business Value and the MIT Sloan Management Review.
Analytics: The Widening Divide will be released November 8, but attendees to the kickoff session of the Business Leadership Forum within Information On Demand were treated to a sneak preview of the study's main findings. You can register to receive your copy here.
Fred Balboni, Global Business Services Leader for IBM Business Analytics and Optimization presented the findings, which were based on interviews with 4,500 executives, managers and analysts in 30 industries and 132 countries.
The three key findings are:
The widening gap
The study groups companies' analytical maturity into three major categories: Transformed, Experienced and Aspirational. Transformed companies saw their ranks grow by 25 percent in the last 12 months, while the ranks of the Asiprational saw a decrease of five percent. The biggest growth, happily, was in the Experienced grouping, which grew by 66 percent.
'These companies are pedaling faster and harder to catch up,' said Balboni.
With good reason. The study also shows that organizations that deploy analytics are more than twice as likely to substantially outperform their industry. Quite simply, early analytics adopters are outpacing their less experienced competitors and leaving everyone else in the dust.
The majority of organizations now rely on analytics and data to manage key financial and operational tasks, said Balboni. But these are the table stakes; and even within Transformed companies there's still lots of room to improve.
Here, the IBM-MIT survey provides some guidance. Now, leading analytics-driven organizations are turning their attention to specific lines of business including customer management and HR management. Better insights into consumer sentiment, employee performance, retention and recruitment strategies are all fertile grounds for actionable insights that yield increased competitive advantage.
Some companies are doing some of this, Balboni said, but no company is doing all of it.
Three key competencies
Balboni then expanded on the three key analytical competencies an organization must master to drive better outcomes:
Two paths to get there
Most organizations pursue one of two types of paths along their analytics journey, Balboni said.
The first is the Collaborative Path, which sees organizations taking a broad-based approach spanning multiple business units who work together to master their data and share insights. The second is the Specialized Path, in which a single line of business pursues specific business outcomes, connecting new stakeholders according to business needs.
Balboni said the credit crisis and ongoing market jitters have driven many companies to taking the Specialized Path: 'Most organizations are in no mood for large-scale projects.'
This doesn't mean that you must abandon your long-term goals; rather, said Balboni, you need a series of programs that delivers results in three- to six-month intervals. Each program must build on the previous steps.
Three steps to take
To close, Balboni outlined three steps organizations can take to start or accelerate their own analytics journey. The first is simple; the other two demand a longer-term view.