Over the past few years, terms like analytics and data scientist have been on their way to becoming a household name within the world of business. To us data junkies, using analytics to generate actionable business insights is a no-brainer need, as it can significantly help companies improve all facets of the business. This is why we compiled a report on “The State of Analytics and Decision Science” and surveyed executives who lead or heavily influence data and analytics investment decisions at large U.S. enterprises in a variety of industries.
The report identifies gaps and shortcomings in traditional approaches to analytics and problem solving. It shows that many businesses are still misguidedly prioritizing data and technology needs over the need for better decision making. Changes in customer behaviors are leading to a scramble for new capabilities and offerings – which in turn fuels the need for analytics and insights. But because businesses aren’t paying enough attention to creative problem solving, they are falling short in analytics. We came up with some interesting results, some of which I will touch on in this post.
The New Art of Problem Solving
Organizations don’t approach analytics with the same rigor that they do other, more mature disciplines. But businesses face complex problems every day, and they are forced to solve them quickly and efficiently. That’s where decision science comes in. This market needs proven methodologies and frameworks to follow in order to materially affect business outcomes.
Of the companies surveyed, 39 percent don’t follow a consistent methodology for problem solving. However, we anticipate this number will drop significantly over the next decade as companies are beginning to realize the importance of solving organizational and structural deficiencies. Our report discovered:
– 41 percent of companies think their ability to drive actionable insights out of their analytics work could really improve.
– 23 percent would make developing a clear roadmap of analytics business problems to address in the coming year a top priority.
– 23 percent would prioritize identifying where analytics work is both sufficient and deficient in supporting business needs.
Once companies realize that they can take a more creative yet consistent approach to problem solving, decision makers in each organization will see the need for a serious discussion about leveraging the data for their benefit.
Top Challenges in Data and Analytics Have Shifted
As companies lean more on analytics to inform decision-making, data challenges persist, particularly issues with quality, consistency and usability. In fact, one-third (34 percent) of the companies surveyed noted that these data concerns are the most important issues plaguing their analytics initiatives.