Companies see themselves as 'data driven'

Published on 22/06/2012

A new survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit revealed that recent waves of business intelligence adoption by companies have substantially affected decisions and how they define themselves as companies. Once, decisions in the boardroom were made on intuition. Companies could try and use data to influence their direction, but would come up against human limitations. New business models, driven by advanced analytics engines, allow firms to make informed choices drawn from internal and external data.

Relying on data

The survey discovered that more than half of companies are now convinced that decisions with no basis in analytics are less trustworthy than those based on data. Among respondents, 54 percent told the researchers that they are now suspicious of business decisions made without the help of analytics. When asked if they are addressing more questions with "hard" data, 65 percent answered in the affirmative. Queried if they identify their company as "data driven," two thirds of executives agreed.

Certain industries are more likely to have taken a data-intensive model to heart. The survey found that among financial firms, 73 percent were applying data to more questions. In healthcare, the figure was 75 percent and it was 76 percent among energy providers. Big data analytics based on unstructured data was a key motivator for the increased dedication to analytics. Social media was cited as a particularly important source of data, giving a snapshot of the public's opinion through text, images and other unstructured content.

Companies want data quickly. The volume of information is not a setback, according to 85 percent of respondents. Companies are more concerned with accelerating their reporting processes and acting on data as soon as it is available, improving the quality of decisions through constant access to new figures that represent the state of the market.

Many systems

The future of business intelligence may include companies employing several systems at once, each aimed at a particular problem. There is a great chance that analytics users will no longer limit themselves based on the capabilities of an analytics system. Instead, they will cobble together a web of advanced analytics processes, based on answering each question. Business users will take on advanced data analytics, moving some of the responsibility from the IT department and adding exciting new capabilities throughout the corporate structure.