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New Survey Highlights Enterprise Use, Benefits of Business Analytics

Executives see benefits, but struggle with unstructured data and knowing where to start.

A survey-based report from consultancy Deloitte, Technology in the Mid-Market; Perspectives and Priorities, reveals that executives clearly see the value of analytics “as a path to greater client engagement.”  Two-thirds (65.2 percent) of respondents say their companies “are using some form of analytics that is helping fulfill business needs.” 

When it comes to analytics, nearly a third (32.8 percent) of respondents say its greatest value is in its “ability to predictively manage aspects of the business.”  Other benefits include increased operational effectiveness (28 percent) and greater competitive edge in understanding customer trends and patterns (25.2 percent). Almost a third of managers said they are using analytics to influence business strategy and operational priorities. 

When asked which delivery models their organization was using or was likely to use in their analytics efforts, 38.2 percent said they used basic reporting analytics to support business operations and strategy; 28.8 percent develop predictive modeling analytics solutions to guide business growth; 28.6 percent of respondents design and implement integrated enterprise analytics solutions.  More than two in ten of those surveyed (21.4 percent) use subscription-based analytics with analytical scoring and results.

Despite the positive attitude toward analytics, adoption of the technology lags.  For example, just seven percent said they had been able to deliver organizational value by applying analytics, and a quarter (25 percent) of respondents aren’t using analytics at all because they don’t know how to get started.  More than one in ten respondents (13.4 percent) believe business analytics is “too complex a topic to digest at our current stage of growth.”

In this second annual report, the authors state that their survey findings “support the notion of technology becoming a great equalizer for mid-market companies.”  The report points out that “cloud-based solutions, data analytics, and business intelligence solutions continue to provide ‘large corporation solution’ to mid-market enterprises in terms of the operational capabilities, overall productivity, and competitive insights.”  However, not everyone is on board. 

For example, 17.9 percent of respondents don’t see the business value of analytics and so haven’t implemented it in their environment.  Of course, many managers do recognize the overall benefits of analytics but nearly a third (31.3 percent) of survey respondents don’t believe their own mid-market enterprise is large enough or at a sufficient maturity level to actually benefit themselves.  

More than a quarter of those surveyed claim their toughest hurdle is figuring out how to work with unstructured data, which Deloitte says may make up as much as 80 percent of all data.  Even if company data is clean, 29 percent of those surveyed say the data still needs to be structured for “efficient use and validation” and just 12 percent said their data was structured for broad analytics use. 

Half of the 500 respondents from mid-market enterprises (those with annual revenues between $100 million and just over $1 billion) were C-suite executives, the rest “held other management roles.”  When asked which tech-related trends have the potential for the greatest productivity gains, mobility led the list (42.6 percent of respondents), followed by analytics (40.8 percent), the cloud (39.0 percent), and big data (31.0 percent).

The full report is available here at no cost.

About the Author

James E. Powell is the editorial director of the Business Intelligence Journal and BI This Week newsletter. You can contact him here.

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