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Business analytics comes of age

Business analytics comes of age

Most firms believe analytics has helped them reduce costs, increase profitability and introduce better risk management.

Business analytics has been effective in decision-making for three of four enterprises, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services survey sponsored by SAS.

The survey found that the organisations have benefited from increased profitability, reduced cost, improved risk management, process optimisation, faster decision-making or critical performance improvements.

Compared to a similar study two years ago, analytics deployment is now nearly pervasive in enterprises around the globe. Indeed, nearly 97 per cent of respondents said their organisations have adopted business analytics, compared to 90 per cent in 2009.

“This research reflects the growing interest of organisations around the world in greater insight and better, faster decisions through business analytics,” said SAS vice-president and chief marketing officer, Jim Davis.

“Some leading companies have already extensively embraced business analytics and experienced the benefits of lower cost, improved profitability and reduced risk. Others are just starting.”

The study found that companies gaining the most value from business analytics share several characteristics. These include: A top-down embrace of analytics by senior leaders; putting the right analytic team in place; improving data management and governance; deploying the right analytic tools; and operationalising the results.

“Buying a hammer means you can drive a nail, but to build a house you need plans, skills and commitment,” Davis said.

“It’s the same for advanced analytics –— tools alone will only take you part of the way. Analytic-centred organisations have gained the most value from the technology.”

According to the study, 88 per cent of respondents believe they either have the right analytic talent in place or recognise a need to augment analytics resources. Strategy planning, finance and marketing were the top three functional areas for business analytics.

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