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Study: Most firms say business analytics boosts decision-making process

Most enterprises seek solutions to big issues with business analytics, per Bloomberg Businessweek survey sponsored by SAS

24 August 2011 - Business analytics has been effective in decision making for three of four enterprises, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services survey sponsored by SAS, the leader in business analytics. These organisations have benefited from increased profitability, reduced cost, improved risk management, process optimisation, faster decision making or critical performance improvements.

Contrasted with a similar study two years ago, analytics deployment is now nearly pervasive in enterprises around the globe. Nearly 97 per cent of respondents say their organisations have adopted business analytics, compared to 90 per cent in 2009.

"This research reflects the growing interest of organisations around the world in greater insight and better, faster decisions through business analytics," said Jim Davis, SAS senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "Some leading companies have already embraced business analytics and experienced the benefits of lower cost, improved profitability and reduced risk. Other organisations are just starting this journey of discovery."

According to survey results, companies gaining the most value from business analytics share several characteristics, including: a top-down embrace of analytics by senior leaders; putting the right analytic talent in place; improving data management and governance; deploying the right analytic tools; and operationalising the results.

"Buying a hammer means you can drive a nail, but to build a house you need plans, skills and commitment. It's the same for advanced analytics -- tools alone will only take you part of the way," said Davis. "Analytic-centred organisations have gained the most value from the technology."

The research also found:

  • Eighty-eight per cent of respondents believe they either have the right analytic talent in place or recognise they need to augment their analytics resources.
  • Cost reduction, increased profitability and better risk management are the three most important outcomes possible with business analytics.
  • Strategy/planning, finance and marketing are the top three functional areas for business analytics.

UK specific results showed:

  • Higher percent of UK businesses view their use of business analytics as effective in helping make decisions:  87% vs. 74% for all other respondents
  • UK respondents are more likely than others to use newer, more sophisticated analytical tools such as interactive data visualisation, simulations, social media analysis and web analytics
  • UK businesses are more likely than others to either have the right talent or have plans to acquire more (79% vs. 66%)

The Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services report resulted from 930 responses to a global survey conducted across all industries in May. Approximately 30 per cent of the respondents held a C-level title spread across a range of functional areas. The survey report is available here (registration required).

SAS hosts an online community, the Business Analytics Knowledge Exchange, to foster independent discussion on the latest business analytics trends and best practices. Industry experts frequently contribute their research and philosophies for solving real-world problems through business analytics technologies to the site.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 50,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know® .

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