Companies that have developed advanced analytical capabilities will be more competitive than their peers whose analytical aptitudes aren’t as fully ripened, according to a recent IBM-MIT study.
The study, which is based on insights from more than 4,500 managers and executives, identifies three “progressive” levels of analytical sophistication among organizations: Aspirational; Experienced; and Transformed. Thirty-seven percent of Aspirational companies – those that are just getting started using analytics – reported that they’re more competitive as a result of using analytics.
Meanwhile, 63% of Experienced companies – those organizations that have developed some competence with analytics – cite the competitive advantage they’ve been able to achieve. More impressive, eight out of 10 Transformed companies – those organizations with extensive experience using analytics technologies and techniques – have achieved competitive advantage over their peers.
In a blog post on the study, data management consultant James Taylor (@jamet123) says that companies in the study that have made the leap from “Aspirational” to “Transformed” analytics practitioners have encouraged a collaborative approach toward the use of analytics in their roads to success.
The importance of collaboration is also noted by ZDNet blogger Joe McKendrick (@joemckendrick), who says that it’s statistically significant that 65% of advanced analytics practitioners make insights available to those who need them, suggesting that “two out of three of the advanced analytics companies have figured out ways to ‘democratize’ their business intelligence and analytics to decision makers at all levels.”
Analytics leaders recognize that decision makers and other key stakeholders (line of business leaders, functional leaders in marketing, sales) can and should work closely together to examine, extrapolate, and act on the right data using analytics tools and techniques to achieve mutually agreed-upon business goals.
Before organizations can reach this type of analytical nirvana, there are multiple building blocks necessary to becoming an analytics-driven organization. This includes selecting and using an effective mix of processes and technologies for gathering, analyzing, and acting on the right mix of data to meet organizational business objectives.
Another key component that can’t be overlooked is the importance of nurturing a culture that recognizes the importance of using analytics throughout its operations. This remains a challenge even for analytical leaders cited in the study, as 44% of respondents say their organizations are resistant to becoming more analytical cultures.
In order to foster a collaborative culture, senior leadership needs to communicate the importance of using analytics throughout the organization and among business divisions. This includes highlighting the benefits of brainstorming on strategic goals and demonstrating how the end result can assist multiple business units to achieve both their individual and enterprise-wide objectives.
Cultivating a collaborative analytical culture also means providing key stakeholders with the tools needed to work together across divisions and geographies, such as easy-to-use dashboards and mobile-supported applications.
Businesses that hope to survive in the competitive marketplace need to bring their top decision-makers together to react quickly to changing conditions. The companies that will thrive and outpace their competitors are those that can make the most of their collective brain trust.
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