Two-thirds of business leaders plan to increase investment in predictive analytics 

A recent survey of some of Ireland’s biggest businesses carried out by analytics leader SAS and the Analytics Institute has revealed a strong desire to drive data-based decision making amid rising economic pressures. Two-thirds plan to increase usage and investment in predictive analytics and advanced decisioning, while over 60% are seeing a financial or operational return on their current investment.

A staggering 97 per cent of those who took part said a data driven approach is encouraged or incentivised throughout their organisation, while more than three-quarters (77%) said data analytics was an important component of their overall strategy.

The purpose of the survey was to find out about the impact of data analytics and AI on decision-making across organisations in multiple industries operating in Ireland. There were 46 respondents in total, including key decision makers from businesses such as Allied Irish Bank (AIB), Irish Life, PayPal and Primark. The information was collected at an Analytics Institute event in Dublin earlier this year entitled the Data Leaders Forum: Measurable ROI in Analytics.

Of those surveyed, 61 per cent said there has been a financial or operational return on their investment in analytics so far, with 50 per cent finding business performance measures the most effective way to prove the performance of data analytics and AI in the business.

There were 28 per cent however who said they have found it difficult to quantify a return on investment in analytics. This could be down to the fact that just over one in five don’t have any measures in place to determine the effectiveness of data analytics and AI.

Just 11 per cent said they are yet to see a return on investment on analytics and AI within their business, with almost half of that segment saying they do not encourage or incentivise a data-driven approach to decision making in their organisation.

It was noted in the findings that there are some challenges to overcome. A lack of skilled resources, poor quality data and legacy systems, and a culture not yet geared towards analytics adoption were named as the top three impediments.

Within the current economic climate, many businesses are looking to save costs and time which is difficult to do with fast changing customer habits, inflation and unexpected external events. Predictive analytics and AI can help increase productivity and resilience to external pressures, by automating more processes and enabling business leaders to make more informed decisions.

Alan McGlinn, Director, SAS Ireland said: “It’s clear that organisations in Ireland are finding that investing in analytic solutions is helping them to expand their ability to make good decisions more quickly, ultimately delivering more value in a shorter timeframe. With mounting economic pressures, it’s important to find innovative solutions that help organisations remain competitive in the face of rising costs”

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