Analytics is one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world today — the cornerstone of corporate insights and actions.

Bernard Marr, a United Kingdom-based authority on analytics, said, "Advances in information technology and a complete datafication of our world now mean we have (or will have very soon) data and insights on everything." In fact, he boasted, analytics has the power to transform any industry, including business, sports, healthcare and government. So how broad is industry adoption?

Neuralytix, an IT market research and consulting firm based in Mountain View, Calif., recently surveyed members of the Salesforce Power Users Group about their projected use of one anaytics platform to find out. When asked about their projected use of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud in the next 12 months, 55 percent of those surveyed said they had no plans to use it.

But 42.5 percent said they were planning to start and about 3 percent of users said they were already using it.

Why the Split Decision?

With all the focus on analytics, why the split decision on the Salesforce Analytics Cloud?

Nearly 50 percent of respondents claimed the platform was just too expensive. In addition, it's an untested product: It lacks the market longevity of its competitors, and adoption rates of new technologies in the enterprise space (as compared to the consumer space) are generally always low.

But the survey found some interesting data that extends beyond this one platform:37 percent said they “haven't given any thought to analytics” period, and16 percent said they had “no need” for it.

Those responses show a rejection of not only the Analytics Cloud but the idea of analytics itself. Interestingly, the majority of those surveyed were sales professionals — a department (if not the department) in a business that is extremely driven by numbers.

Analytics helps contextualize and predict future patterns that will occur upon gathering the sales data, which makes it perplexing as to why so many numbers-driven professionals would outright reject the idea of analytics itself.

The Impossible Sale?

Sales is arguably one of the most high-pressure jobs in the enterprise. While some may argue that analytics only adds to the stress because of all the number crunching, a deeper look suggests otherwise. Analytics has the ability to enhance the value of sales professionals in their respective industries. It can help sales professionals get leads from social media, alert sales professionals to events that might have an impact on their deals and suggest better strategies to close deals.

“Neuralytix feels it's important to educate sales professionals and support staff on the analytics use cases that can enhance their job performance,” said CMSWire contributing author Tom Petrocelli, Research Director of Enterprise Social, Mobile and Cloud Applications at Neuralytix. He added:

Analytics that only measure individual performance is not as valuable as analytics that enhances performance. In discussing analytics, it is vital that the function of analytics be couched in specific aids to identifying and moving deals to closure."

That means sales professionals don't necessarily have to look at how they're doing, like how many conversions they made in a certain amount of time. Rather, they could benefit from analytics by using it to more effectively get those conversions and close those deals.

You Want Need It

Sales professionals should not ignore the need for analytics, Neuralytix argues, adding that it is a long-term solution. Although survey respondents were split on the use of analytics in sales (mostly because of cost), the greatest opportunity now may lie with education.

Educating the 37 percent of people who haven't thought about analytics about use cases and potential — helping the 42.5 percent of people considering use of the Analytics Cloud in the next year to maximize their investments — could generate wider adoption ... and maybe even help close a few deals.