Accenture: U.S. Execs Focus on Business Analytics

Despite the financial slowdown, some two-thirds of executives working at large U.S. companies say they need to improve their analytical capabilities, and about half admit they need to add IT capabilities and personnel to support business analytics, according to recent survey by Accenture.

Tags: Analytics, Executives, Business Analytics, Survey, Accenture, Investments, Analytical Capabilities,


Despite the financial slowdown, some two-thirds of executives working at large U.S. companies say they need to improve their analytical capabilities, and about half admit they need to add IT capabilities and personnel to support business analytics, according to recent survey by Accenture.

Accenture's"Competing Through Business Analytics" survey interviewed some 250 U.S. executives about how their companies invest and use a variety of business and IT analytics.

The top take-away from Accenture's survey shows that as the economy slows down, the value of useable business analytics goes up. A few statistics:
  • More than half (57%) of the companies said they don't have a beneficial, consistently updated enterprise-wide analytical capability
  • Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said they're working to increase business analytics usage by their companies
  • 60% of major decisions are based on analytics and 40% are based on judgment rather than analytics. That's because most executives (61%) say that's because good data is not available,
  • Also, 61% said there is no past data for the decisions and innovation they're addressing, and 55% said they rely on qualitative and subjective factors to make major decisions.

    The Accenture survey also shows company executives know they need to move away from making 'gut decisions' -- and move toward using real data to set decisions for business directions and tactical items, such as product development and marketing.

    Non-IT executives are starting to realize that investments in data, and ways to expand its use and access, goes beyond just infrastructure investments, according to Accenture executives associated with the survey

    "These findings show that business analytics prowess will be a high priority in the boardroom in 2009 and beyond," said Royce Bell, chief executive officer of Accenture Information Management Services, in a statement. "While executives understand that companies with enterprise-wide business analytics have an advantage over those still relying on nebulous sources to make decisions, they face institutional challenges to reforming their processes across the board. Leading organizations are moving from a siloed approach to more inclusive information management programs that work across the entire company."

    Accenture also found that company execs need more than IT - they'll need personnel trained in business analytics. Some 23% of respondents said "insufficient quantitative skills in employees" was a main challenge for their companies, and 36% said their companies "face a shortage of analytical talent."




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