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December 8, 2009

Top-performing companies more likely to apply analytics compared to peers: IBM study

Expects such organisations to emerge from the current economic condition with a huge head over competitors

By CBR Staff Writer

Top-performing companies were 15 times more likely to apply analytics to strategic decisions than their underperforming peers, according to a new IBM study of the role information-based decision making during the current economic cycle. In addition, top performers were 22 times more prepared to challenge the status quo in their organisations, rethink current strategies and business processes, and aggressively apply and act on new insights derived from analytics.

The study also found that top performers were six times more likely to entrust a broader base of employees with greater authority to make decisions and act on insights.

The study entitled ‘Breaking away with business analytics and optimisation’ is based on a survey of nearly 400 business executives globally, who rated their businesses versus peers.

Steve LaValle, author of the study and strategy leader of business analytics and optimisation at IBM Global Business Services, said: A critical part of this success is that these organisations were able to drive change by having the right management systems, tools, and culture in place creating, in effect, an organisation that seeks and evaluates, and is ready to act on new opportunity.

As part of the analysis, IBM consultants determined top-performing organisations are able to more fully exploit business analytics for competitive advantage. The analysis also discovered having superior data governance–assuring that data definitions were clear, relevant and accepted, is critical the success for top performers. The study also found that top performers were much more sophisticated in their approach to governing organisational information relative to lower performing companies.

The study revealed that relatively few organisations have supported business analytics and optimisation at this level. IBM’s consultants have determined a number of areas where organisations looking to position themselves to break away from the competition need to focus which include: predictive analytics, information visualisation and content management tools; identifying actionable and relevant insights from the structured and unstructured information residing in and outside their enterprise; connecting information to business objectives and across business functions; and focusing on the people and process change, governance and organisational alignment needed to implement new analytics projects.

Fred Balboni, global leader of business analytics and optimisation at IBM Global Business Services, said: Our study found that over the past 18 months, top-performing businesses excelled at applying analytics and empowering their people to act on these insights. We expect these organisations will emerge from the current economic condition with a huge head start over their competitors. A flood of information has created an entirely new set of assets, just waiting to be applied to clients’ toughest challenges.

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