A cultural shift in attitudes to analytics will be essential for businesses to compete in the age of digital transformation, research has revealed.
A quarter of the 500 professionals surveyed by MHR Analytics said resistance from senior management was preventing their company from adopting analytics, suggesting that many could be left behind as their forward-thinking competitors advance.
A further 23 per cent said their company’s traditional reliance on manual spreadsheets was holding them back from taking advantage of widely available technology.
The survey of finance and technology professionals working in large UK organisations was conducted by MHR Analytics and Censuswide to understand the barriers some companies face in progressing their analytics capabilities, and their technological aspirations for the coming decade.
Internationally acclaimed AI expert Bernard Marr and MHR Analytics have released a guide entitled “Advancing with Analytics: Spreadsheets to AI,” to help break down these barriers.
It includes practical tips and examples from a range of organisations that have managed to move away from error-prone spreadsheets and adopt more sophisticated analytics, and even artificial intelligence (AI).
“For me, the examples in the guide demonstrate how the data maturity journey is about taking manageable steps, rather than huge leaps,” Marr said. “From better planning and decision making, to smoother operations and automated processes, data analytics fuels business improvements. Yet, for the average business, adopting advanced analytics techniques like AI is never going to be an overnight shift,” he said.
“Adopting more advanced analytics can seem like a mammoth, unachievable task. That’s why I prefer to think of analytics as a journey, with analytics techniques gradually becoming more advanced as you progress further along the road. A business advances on this journey one stage at a time, gradually meeting more and more business needs through data analytics.
“Progressing to planning analytics – stage three of the data maturity journey – tends to be a key milestone for most businesses, since this is the stage that bridges the gap between basic reporting and more exciting, forward-looking technologies. Therefore, I have placed more emphasis on planning analytics in the guide than the other four phases.”
Other barriers to advancing analytics revealed in the MHR Analytics survey included a perceived lack of skills within organisations, siloed working practices and concerns about data quality, data protection and security.