With Analytics being a buzzword, most business executives have in some form thought or talked about role of Analytics in their businesses. 4i had recently conducted annual benchmarking survey, talking to Consumer Insights and Analytics executives at over 30 large companies. One of the questions was how Analytics executives see the future of analytics function.
- Not surprisingly, Big Data and Data Integration topped the list of expectations, with over half of all respondents indicating they still believe in huge untapped potential of Big Data, despite an emerging perspective that Big Data might be over-hyped; interestingly, Big Data is now seen slightly differently than a couple of years ago. Our study in 2012 showed that most Analytics executives largely equated Big Data with Social Media, Mobile and Digital platforms. This year, conversations indicated that Social Media and Mobile are seen as a separate Analytics issue, while Big Data is viewed more in the context of integrating different data sets to drive /uncover specific insights.
- Analytics-driven Organizational Transformation and Integration of Analytics Into Business Processes also ranked high in importance – about a third of Analytics Executives believe that analytics will drive organizational change and will become an integral part of day-to-day business. While it may not sound as exciting as Big Data, this point actually speaks volumes about the growth potential of Analytics and its ability to transform businesses: today, in most organizations Analytics is largely removed from mainstream business functions, and only exists in pockets of organizations. Many non-analytics executives and business people still see Analytics as a “black box.” However, with growing awareness and education, analytics is likely to drive new processes and to become much more imbedded in everyday business.
- Speed and Foresight related issues were also mentioned often, in the context of Analytics ability to enable timely and forward looking business decisions. Executives are increasingly shifting from analytics one-off “projects” to analytical tools and ongoing services with quick turnaround that can answer business questions on the go. Many traditional analytical exercises, such as annual Marketing Mix projects are increasingly seen as less effective and too focused on the past. As we all know, the road ahead is likely to be different from the “rear view mirror,” and predictive power of Analytics can play a critical role in anticipating this road ahead.
By: Lana Klein, co-founder, 4i