SAS and MIT Sloan Management Review research: data analytics boosts competitiveness, innovation
Advanced analytics empowers business leaders who back proposals with data
The past two years have seen an 80 percent jump in organizations believing analytics provides a competitive advantage. According to new research from MIT Sloan Management Review and SAS, 67 percent of business leaders surveyed at the end of 2012 said analytics made their companies more competitive; just 37 percent felt that way in a 2010 study.
The report, "From Value to Vision: Reimagining the Possible with Data Analytics," highlights the differences in analytics maturity among organizations. Of 2,500 companies surveyed, 28 percent are "analytically challenged," 60 percent are "analytics practitioners" and 11 percent are "analytical innovators."
"Analytics is far more than generating and sharing insights," said Pamela Prentice, SAS Chief Research Officer. "For long-term success with data-driven innovation, an organization must continually revise its analytical approach so that insights lead to innovation and competitive advantage."
For analytically challenged respondents, useful data is typically lacking and collaboration is low. Analytics practitioners' view their data as useful, but their analytic focus is operational and the company's analytics infrastructure is fragmented.
Exhibiting markedly different characteristics from the other two groups, analytical innovators:
- Are open to new ways of thinking, challenging the status quo and driving innovation.
- Have progressed to using analytics for strategic purposes.
- View data as a core asset and use more of it than competitors.
- Are more confident in the quality of their data.
Analytical innovators also reported a subtle change as analytics becomes pervasive: power is shifting to those who back up recommendations and decisions with supporting data. Such a cultural change can have a deep impact.
"Power shifts often call into question experience and intuition built up over years. Those who know how to marshal the data and put analytics behind their decision making are now at an advantage," said David Kiron, MIT Sloan Management Review Executive Editor.
The study also provides prescriptions for the analytically challenged:
- Start at a local level before pursuing enterprisewide initiatives.
- Build lasting relationships, encourage discussion and share information with other departments to foster collaboration.
- Develop an executive communications plan, including ROI and recommended actions, to build high-level support.
The research is based on a survey of 2,500 business executives, managers and analysts. Respondents represented 121 countries and more than 30 industries. Company size ranged from less than $250 million in annual revenue to $20 billion.
To read the full report, please go to, "From Value to Vision: Reimagining the Possible with Data Analytics" (www.sas.com/valuetovision )
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