Widening Gap in Analytics


Allen Johnson

Only the truly uninformed would fail to see a relatively straight line between the use of analytics and faster or better business decisions. A recent report released by MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with IBM Institute for Business Value only reinforces that thinking. In fact, it underscores the competitive synergies created through a well-integrated data foundation and analytics.

The report, Analytics: The Widening Divide, highlights three organizational profiles of analytics practitioners. According to the researchers, “Transformed” companies are the most highly developed integrators of data and analytics; “Experienced” companies are seeing early gains and investing, and “Aspirational” firms – those slow to get started – are quickly being left behind.  Three data points jumped out at me.

In other words leaders are investing in analytics and an integrated data foundation to create significant and sustainable competitive advantage. What a nightmare in the making for those staying out of the game.

At this point, it’s a mystery to me why there would even be an Aspirational group. Analytics have never been more plentiful, affordable or robust. Automated tools enable even modest sized organizations to build data foundations delivering first business value in 90-120 days. Data marts and warehouses no longer have to be so rigidly structured they can’t quickly adapt to changing requirements. We contrast approaches for creating an agile data foundation for analytics in Ensuring Agility in Your Data Warehouse, and share our TDWI World Conference attendee survey in a report on the current state of agility in business. Both make good reading.

Clearly, the Transformed organizations have distanced themselves from the pack. The irony is that their successes are driving a groundswell and with today’s technologies for analytics and data integration, the laggards can easily make up ground.

But only those who play the game get the chance to win the game.

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