Report: Big data analytics delivers revenue dividends

New report by Forbes Insights shows organisations investing in big data analytics are seeing significant returns. Yet culture is preventing others to embrace data analytics universally

The majority of organisations that have bridged the cultural and operational hurdles around big data analytics are seeing significant, measurable impact on their revenues. Yet there are still a raft of organisations struggling to have a data-driven strategy universally accepted in their organisation.

The new Betting on Big Data report of data and IT decision makers, produced by Forbes insights and sponsored by Teradata and McKinsey, found 90 per cent of organisations are making medium to high levels of investment into big data analytics, and one-third call these investments “very significant”. Of these, about two-thirds claim these efforts have had a significant, measurable impact on revenues of at least 1 per cent.

In addition, 21 per cent of respondents agreed big data analytics is the single most important path to competitive advantage, and another 38 per cent saw it as a top five issue. Of those placing an emphasis on big data, c-level sponsorship was critical.

For example, more than half of organisations that viewed big data as the single most important way to gain competitive advantage have CEOs that are personally focusing on big data initiatives. In contrast, in organisations where big data is a top five issue, sponsorship was generally sitting one level below top leadership.

Companies that have established data and analytics positions in the c-suite are also more likely to have above-average data analytics capabilities.

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However, data analytics support isn’t universal just yet. The report found half of respondents are struggling to have the idea of a data-driven strategy universally accepted in their organisation.

Culture proved a major stumbling block to big data analytics uptake, with more than half of respondents saying adopting a data-driven culture is the single biggest barrier to success today. Rewarding the use of data and fostering experimentation and creativity with data were also noted as major cultural challenges that need to be overcome.

In addition, 44 per cent said putting big data learning into action was an operational challenge in their organisation.

Key ways big data is helping to deliver innovation are creating new business models (54 per cent), discovering new product offers (52 per cent) and monetising data to external companies (40 per cent).

The types of data sets being explored by those active in big data analytics, meanwhile, are also varied, with the most popular being location data (56 per cent), text data (48 per cent) and social media (43 per cent). More widely, a combination of both structured and unstructured data sources are being utilised by organisations.

Of the six industries surveyed – financial services, technology, retail, telecommunications, healthcare and consumer products – retail proved the most interested in big data, with many seeing big data and analytics as the key to competitive advantage.

The report was based on a survey of 316 senior data and IT decision makers globally and was based on a questionnaire by Forbes Insights.

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