Analytics: Why Are Organizations Lukewarm on Such a Hot Topic?

Michael Sims's picture

APQC and other thought leaders have long touted the potential benefits of using analytics to become more data driven. And, for the most part, organizations seem to agree. In fact, more than three-quarters of respondents to a recent APQC poll report that their organization has invested in an analytics solution.

So, organizations have clearly opened their minds (and wallets) to analytics. But how well are those investments paying off? Organizations report that the early returns have been underwhelming.

Three-quarters of organizations are investing in analytics, but only a quarter are satisfied with their analytics solutions. What is causing this disconnect between what organizations expect analytics to do for them and the reality of what they’re getting?

Underutilizing a powerful tool

Perhaps the analytics solutions are not underperforming, but, rather, they are being underutilized. The vast majority (71.1 percent) of organizations are using analytics for reporting, which, although certainly not a misuse of analytics, hardly takes full advantage of the powerful predictive capabilities modern analytics solutions offer.

The functionality that organizations are getting from their analytics solutions underlines the same trend.

Half of organizations are using analytics for backward-looking purposes (i.e., dashboards and data visualization), while only 40 percent use analytics for forecasting and a mere 35 percent use it for statistical analysis. This means organizations are not using analytics to achieve a competitive advantage or gain a deeper understanding of their customers, competitors, and employees; rather, they are simply using new tools to perform the same jobs they’ve always done.

If organizations want to improve their return on investment for analytics, they need to start capitalizing on the remarkable insights these solutions can provide.

And the first step is comprehending what those insights are.

The Key is Understanding

35.7 percent of organizations report that understanding how to use analytics is their top analytics challenge, which accounts for more than any other challenge. 

The bad news is that this can be a particularly crippling challenge, since understanding analytics is so foundational to its success implementation.

The great news is that this is a problem that is easily solved. And APQC is here to help you do just that.  Take advantage of the resources APQC offers to learn about what analytics can do for you organization and how to turn that potential into reality.

Stay up to date with our upcoming analytics research, webinars, and more by visiting our expertise page.

Follow me on Twitter @MSIMS_APQC or find me on LinkedIn.

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