A new study shows that corporate cultures that embrace analytics to manage their operations have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

IBM Institute for Business Value and MIT Sloan Management review released research based on a survey of more than 4,500 business leaders from more than 120 countries and a variety of industries. The study shows that 44% of organizations say the primary barriers to enterprise-wide analytics adoption are cultural.

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Analytics Analysis

Analytics:The Widening Divide is a follow up to a 2010 study on how companies are embedding analytics into operations and processes:

The 2010 study found organizations fall into one of three levels of sophistication: basic users referred to as Aspirationals, followed by the more Experienced users, and the most advanced users referred to as Transformed. Year-to-year comparisons reveal that the more sophisticated users are expanding their deployment of analytics and widening the performance gap over their peers."

In the past year, the percentage of respondents who note a competitive advantage using analytics grew 23% for Transformed respondents and 66% for Experienced, whereas Aspirational organizations actually fell 5% since last year. The study also showed that most of the responding organizations are using analytics to manage their financial and operational activities, but none of them are using analytics in other business areas to their full potential.

Transformed Analytics

The Transformed group, which does the best job of leveraging analytics, focuses on applying analytics to increase the speed of decisions, manage enterprise risks, and engage customers. "Two-thirds of them are putting analytical insights into the hands of customer-facing employees to drive sales and productivity -- compared to one-fourth of Aspirationals," the study says. It also shows that six areas distinguished Transformed organizations the most:

  • Ability to analyze data -- 78%
  • Ability to capture and aggregate data -- 77%
  • Culture open to new ideas -- 77%
  • Analytics as a core part of business strategy and operations -- 72%
  • Embed predictive analytics into process -- 66%
  • Insights available to those who need them -- 65%

Transformed organizations are 3.4 times more likely to outperform industry peers, and organizations that use analytics for a competitive advantage are 2.2 times more likely to outperform them.

To get an idea of what vendors, like IBM are helping organizations do with analytics, check out our analytics news.