Organisations need to increase the sophistication of their analytics and be willing to be led by the data. But operational and technical capabilities are often lacking.

In an increasingly digital marketplace organisations need to increase  sophistication of analytics while being willing to be genuinely data led in their decision making. But there is still work to be done on both these counts with the operational and technical capabilities often lacking.

There is not really a choice though for leadership teams and boards who need to make decisions and plan strategy in a time of rapid change.

That’s an issue with which companies like analytics specialist SAS and its global CIO Jay Upchurch are very familiar

Jay Upchurch, chief information officer, SAS

“If you’re in banking and risk and you’re trying to figure out what’s your level of tolerance for loans or insuring or anytime money laundering, or in pharmaceuticals for doing drug testing, there are different ways to address it. For companies like ours providing a platform, we need to make those extensible and configurable in a way that they can be applied to any business. 

Acceleration

Speak to board members and the leadership teams of large listed companies and they will acknowledge that it is not just the level of disruption in markets that concerns them, but also the extraordinary speed of change and the fact that it is accelerating.

With that in mind, those boards and executive leadership teams need to be empowered to make real-time decisions.

“And you have to make that decision at that moment,” says Upchurch.

According to Annette Slunjski, Managing Director, IAPA “The ability of analytics to play a role from a strategic level and a tactical is increasing as the c-suite now understands how important data is to their business.”

Industry researchers agree with that assessment generally, but they also identify areas for improvement.

Annette Slunjski, managing director, IAPA

McKinsey and Company in an online paper called “Catch them if you can: How leaders in data and analytics have pulled ahead” revealed results of a 2019 study into the impact data analytics, replicating earlier work from 2017. <Link>

According to the management consultants, “While it may come as no surprise that data and analytics are reshaping industry competition and organizations’ core businesses at an accelerating pace, the persistently lackluster response to this phenomenon by most companies should raise some eyebrows.”

The management consultants note that since their first survey, “the changes data and analytics have brought to their industries are growing in both magnitude and scope. Yet they [survey respondents] also indicate that many of their companies are still responding to these shifts with ad hoc initiatives and one-off actions, rather than through long-term strategic adjustments that are required for sustainable success in an evolving business environment.”

As businesses increasingly operate in a digital landscape, they are also discovering the old ways of working risk holding them back.

To learn more, including how Gartner believes that fewer than 50 percent of documented corporate strategies mention data and analytics as key components for delivering enterprise value visit ADMA.

This article was produced for ADMA by the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit

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