How far along are we on the path to analytics?

November 22, 2010
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For readers of this blog, it’s certainly no secret: Data-crunching analytics is a raging trend in business. Companies are racing to capture and distill every data morcel about customers, suppliers, and competitors, and they’re extending their studies from Twitter-streams to key words popping up on help lines.

For readers of this blog, it’s certainly no secret: Data-crunching analytics is a raging trend in business. Companies are racing to capture and distill every data morcel about customers, suppliers, and competitors, and they’re extending their studies from Twitter-streams to key words popping up on help lines.

My question: How far along are we in this trend? Let’s say the number 10 represents a future of super-smart business processes, precision-targeted customers, logistics calibrated to time and place. And we’ll call the opposite, a world run by the ancient dictates of the gut, the number 1.

Where are we? True, there’s enormous disparity. Data-smart companies like Amazon and Harrah’s are much further down the road than corner grocery stories or county hospitals. So I don’t think anyone could say that society as a whole is at 7 or 8, much less 9. I’d say 5 would be upper limit. But are we even that far along? Please take a few seconds to take my survey, and share with friends and colleagues. If you have quibbles with my three choices, or would like to add a fourth, please make your case in comments. Thanks.

The questionnaire On the path to analytics, from 1 to 10, we’re at:

5. The halfway point. While companies like Google stretch the limits of analytics, others are making steady progress. Businesses have been working hard at this for a decade. They’ve got just as far to go in the next.  

3. While companies written up in magazines have made impressive progress in analytics, most others are just getting started. Entire business process have to be rethought. And don’t forget that leading companies are going to keep extending the limits of what’s possible.

1. We’ll look back on this period as our data infancy, with the today’s efforts in targeting and optimization mere baby steps. Far more than optimizing our businesses, this process will transform them.

Please take the questionnaire- available in the right-hand column.