Report: UK enterprises are 'analytically challenged'

UK enterprises are more “analytically challenged” than in the rest of the world and are struggling to unlock the value of big data.

According to new research from MIT Sloan Management Review and analytics software firm SAS, of the 2,500 large firms surveyed globally, 67 percent said analytics made their companies more competitive, compared to just 37 percent in a similar 2010 study.

The report, ‘From Value to Vision: Reimagining the Possible with Data Analytics’, highlights the differences in "analytics maturity" among organisations. In total, it found 28 percent were “analytically challenged”, 60 percent were “analytics practitioners” and 11 percent are “analytical innovators".

For analytically challenged respondents, useful data is typically lacking and collaboration is low. Analytics practitioners’ view their data as useful, but their analytical focus is operational and the company’s analytics infrastructure is fragmented.

The research found businesses in the UK are more analytically challenged than those in other parts of the world, and the UK is particularly behind when it comes to using data to make key business decisions, still relying heavily on "intuition".

For example, only 18 percent of UK respondents rely mostly or entirely on data to establish objectives and strategy for their organisation, compared to 31 per cent globally. In addition, in the UK, 40 percent say they rely mostly or entirely on intuition when it comes to enhancing a customer’s overall experience, compared to just 27 percent of total respondents globally.

“To bridge the analytical gap, the 'challenged' need to empower business users to make smarter decisions much more quickly by applying analytics to their data,” said Richard Kellett, marketing director at SAS UK & Ireland.

“Easy-to-use, visual tools can deliver accessible insights to anyone, whether a business user with limited technical skills, a statistician or a data scientist. In this way organisations can rapidly identify and act upon an opportunity or a risk, ultimately achieving real competitive advantage.”

Exhibiting markedly different characteristics from the other two groups, analytical innovators are said to be open to new ways of thinking, they challenge the status quo and drive innovation.

They have also progressed to using analytics for strategic purposes, view data as a core asset and use more of it than competitors, and are more confident in the quality of their data.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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