Like any other technology implementation, nothing threatens effective business analytics more than the looming specter of “shelfware.” In the fight against underutilized technology, companies in Europe are leaning on their users and an increased propensity for data-driven decisions.
Aberdeen Group’s recent report, Analytics in Europe: From Luxury to Necessity, demonstrated how leading organizations were able to drive tangible business performance through the use of analytics. However, by separating European companies from all others, a variety of defining characteristics emerge, such as their affinity for:
- Data sharing. Rarely does a critical decision rest on data from just one area of the business. European companies are 27% more likely to share data across functional areas and enrich their decisions with more information.
- Talent nurturing. Some are born with an analytical mind and an appreciation for data-driven decisions. Others need to be shown the way to develop that appreciation over time. European companies are 38% more likely to have programs in place for training and developing analytical talent in-house.
- Widespread usage. Gone are the days when analytics would be reserved only for the most technically savvy business analysts or IT managers. European companies are much more likely to see strong or pervasive usage of analytics in a variety of functional areas such as sales, marketing, and finance.
These and other factors lead European companies to empower a greater percentage of their workforce with analytical capabilities, and drive a higher level of analytical activity among those very users.
Figure: Analytical Adoption and Engagement
The performance implications of an effective strategy for business analytics are very strong. Time and again, Aberdeen’s research demonstrates how companies that bolster their capabilities at multiple stages of the analytical value chain — from raw data to consumable insight — are rewarded with tangible and repeatable benefits.
The research shows that top performers in Europe have greater maturity in their data environments, create a higher degree of satisfaction among their users, and see yearly improvements in revenue growth and profitability that would make any CFO envious.
Perhaps the biggest factor in driving performance is the ability to connect the right data and intuitive technology to the right decision-maker in the organization. Top-performing companies make data more accessible, improve its cleanliness and reliability, accelerate its flow through the organization, and empower more non-technical decision-makers with the right capabilities.
These factors ultimately deliver the kind of analytical adoption and engagement that help produce a tangible ROI from the implementation of analytics, but also deliver real business results.