IBM Industry Summit: Smarter Analytics — From Insights To Outcomes
I mentioned in an earlier post from here at the IBM Industry Summit in Barcelona, Spain, that there are a number of key “memes” emerging.
One that emerged loud and clear yesterday was the opportunity to channel new business insights into concrete business outcomes, and the presentation on the productive use of analytics by Fred Balboni, global leader with IBM’s Business Analytics and Optimization practice, painted a very clear picture of this trend.
Balboni even shared some data of his own, results from “The New Path to Value,” a new study conducted in collaboration with MIT Sloan Management Review and IBM.
This worldwide survey of nearly 3,000 respondents helped IBM, and now the world, better understand how companies are using analytics in their businesses to provide valuable insight.
For example, the study discovered that those organizations which lead in using analytics outperform those who don’t some 3X. Top performers are 5.4X more likely than the average organization to use an analytical approach to business decision-making than those using “intuition.”
Here’s a not-gut-hunch for you: It’s organizational — not data or financial concerns — that are holding back adoption, Balboni informed us. He also explained that it’s not just about having data — organizations want to see insights more clearly and then act on them.
That means moving from simple visualization of data to adopting scenarios and simulations to understand the practical application of analytics to business processes.
The next key finding was that analytic use propagates across functions in a predictable pattern, so start with areas of your business where practical application will be self-evident.
And finally, as adoption spreads, there will be a growing demand for a greater variety of skills and deeper expertise. Makes sense. The deeper insights you can gain, the more need you’ll have for more specialized analytical and business skills. So, like the Boy Scouts, be prepared!
Balboni continued and pointed out how analytics programs can create value for organizations.
One, through infrastructure productivity (taking out costs and improving efficiencies).
Two, through business productivity (improving business control and the bottom online).
And three, helping a return to growth (creating new value for the business).
And finally, as with most every session at the IBM Industry Forum, Balboni provided five recommendations on how organizations can start down the path to this new value and operationalizing their own analytics:
- Focus on the biggest and highest value opportunities (Something the business really values.)
- Start with the questions that the business wants to ask. Within each opportunity, start with questions, not data.
- Embed insights to drive actions and deliver value. Embed analytics practically into processes.
- Keep existing capabilities while adding new ones (don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater). Add new functionality/insight to your business.
- Use an information agenda to plan for the future. This is a roadmap as to how your organization is going to adopt analytics and use it to enhance your business.
You can learn more about the IBM Global New Intelligent Enterprise study on analytics here.