Nearly three-quarters of organizations (72 percent) claim that analytics helps them generate valuable insight and 60 percent say their analytics resources have made them more innovative, according to research commissioned by SAS.
That is despite only four in 10 (39 percent) saying that analytics is core to their business strategy. A third of respondents (35 percent) report that it is used for tactical projects only. Despite acknowledged value – and most (65 percent) can quantify this – businesses are not getting the most out of their analytics investments.
However, they are now pursuing rapid analytical insight as a priority as they push into emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT).
The research, “Here and Now: The need for an analytics platform”, surveyed analytics experts, and IT and line-of-business professionals in a wide range of industries around the world. It found that analytics is changing the way companies do business. This does not just apply to day-to-day operations as it’s also driving innovation – more than a quarter (27 percent) say analytics has helped launched new business models. There are many identified benefits of an analytics platform, the most common being less time spent on data preparation (46 percent), smarter and more confident decision-making (42 percent) and faster time-to-insights (41 percent).
Marcel Yammine, General Manager at SAS Middle East, said “During our conversations with regional business leaders, challenges during a ramped-up analytics and AI journey include the need for an analytics platform, and improved availability of skillsets around data science and analytics. AI is fast-emerging in the region as a key tool for digital transformation, and this calls the need for improved analytics into focus. Through these findings, it is clear that as analytical workloads increase and AI becomes more mainstream, a comprehensive analytics strategy is the ideal route for success.”
“The findings show a strong desire in the business community to boost competitive insight and efficiency using analytics,” said Adrian Jones, Director of SAS’ Global Technology Practice. “The majority recognize that effective analytics could benefit their organizations, particularly as they develop their ability to deploy cutting-edge AI. But the number of those effectively using analytics strategically across the organization could be much higher.”
The survey underscored a lack of alignment in the skills and leadership needed to maximize the potential of analytics. Many companies struggle to manage multiple analytics tools and data management processes.
“If they are to achieve success, organizations must put analytics at the heart of strategic planning and empower analytics resources to drive innovation using a unified analytics platform,” said Jones.
Despite the wide variety of uses for analytics, confidence in the end result is high. Respondents on average have seventy percent confidence that they can derive business value from their data through analytics. Those that invest in data science talent are more likely to see ROI: confidence rises to 72 percent for those in analytics roles but drops to 65 percent for standard IT teams.
The same is true when considering the future. Analytics teams are more confident (66 percent) of their ability to scale to meet future analytics workloads, compared to those in standard IT roles (59 percent).