Why You Should Make Analytics a Higher Priority in Your Business

For a few years now we’ve been hearing about a data revolution sparked by the convergence of cloud, social, mobile and connected computing.

It’s been widely cited that 90 per cent of the world’s data has been created in the past two years – a number that’s staggering. And with a projected 50 billion “things” connected by 2020, the volume of data available is expected to grow exponentially.

But perhaps even more staggering is that in the past five years the number of data sources actively analyzed by businesses has increased by just 20 per cent. That’s a lot of valuable information sitting untouched and unused  and wasted business potential.

Thanks to legacy clunky tools and outdated software, companies are often handcuffed when it comes to leveraging data insights to make smart business decisions and better serve their customers. These complex systems require an army of experts to access the data and deliver insights, and even then specific queries and insights can take days – and even weeks – to deliver, by which time they’re already out of date.

This process is in dire need of an overhaul considering the ocean of potential insights companies simply aren’t accessing. Customers are generating more data than ever before and companies need to make sense of the flood of online searches, tweets, product logs, connected devices and apps that reveal valuable insights into their customers’ needs and behaviours These insights aren’t just nice to know facts – they’re a company’s crystal ball, and each week, hour or minute you’re kept waiting in the dark you’re not activating on important business decisions.

The recently released “State of Analytics” report by Salesforce found that analytics has jumped to the forefront of business strategy with nine out of 10 enterprise leaders indicating analytics is absolutely essential or very important to their overall business strategies and operational outcomes. The report also found that between 2015 and 2020, the number of data sources analyzed by enterprises is expected to jump to 83 per cent.

Here are three reasons why you too should make analytics a top business priority:

Get to know your customers better

Data analytics empowers companies to tap into consumer insights with a 360-degree view, allowing them to make smarter, data-driven decisions. This, in turn, impacts customer service and unlocks productivity.

It can be a company’s biggest competitive advantage. In fact, 54 per cent of marketers say marketing analytics is absolutely critical or very important to creating a cohesive customer journey, and 92 per cent of high performing enterprises say it’s absolutely critical or very important to harness the power of analytics as a strategic factor to future business success.

Build more efficient and collaborative teams

Creating a culture around analytics helps break company silos, which often lead to redundancies, off-strategy executions and overall inefficiencies among teams. Analytics not only gives employees access to the right insights at the right time, but it also arms them with the ability to collaborate and take data-driven action.

Whether it’s in the boardroom or the front line, high performing companies ensure that analytics tools are put in the hands of more employees across many departments, with 94 per cent of employees indicating that they collaborate with other functions in their company to make use of insights gleaned from analytics tools.

Add more value across all areas of your business

Companies are using analytics in a variety of ways and are gaining value across many business areas. From automating business operations to enabling new business models to predicting customer behaviour, on average, high performing companies analyze more than 17 different kinds of data — almost double the number analyzed by underperformers. As teams sharpen their skills, they’re able to widen the breadth and scope of data regularly processed.                     

Tremendous amounts of data are being generated every minute of every day. Companies that have embraced analytics are already ahead of the curve with the real-time insights needed to drive their business forward. Companies that are slow to adopt will not only be left behind by the competition but also left adrift by their own data.