Analytics needs a human touch to release business value

While most organisations are primarily focused on technology and tools, it's people who translate data and insights from analytics into business outcomes.

This is a key finding of a new report by Forbes Insights and professional services organisation EY which shows that people and culture are critical to realising business value from data and analytics.

"For a lot of companies, the bottleneck to creating value is not data, technology or advanced analytics skill sets," says Forbes Insights' Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer. "It's a question of, once we have the insights from analytics, what are we doing with it? At the end of the day, success still involves people making different decisions and changing business processes".

The global survey of 564 senior executives reveals that 54 per cent of executives with leading analytics organisations report that analytics is central to their overall business strategy, compared to only 10 per cent in the remaining enterprises.

Change management is an important component of the top 10 per cent of enterprises' overall data analytics initiatives. Almost three in five leaders embrace change management as 'extremely' important, versus about one-third of the rest.

The top 10 per cent in the survey also say they've been able to organise and establish governance around their data analytics efforts. A majority indicate that they have enterprise, department and lines-of-business data, and analytics groups and that these are well aligned.

"This report illustrates the need for organisations to develop an effective business strategy to compete in today's data-driven world," says Chris Mazzei, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP and EY Chief Analytics Officer. "Technology is no longer a strong enough differentiating factor among organisations - companies must invest in people and recognise the importance of the human element if they are to reap the benefits of their analytics initiatives".

The full report is available to download from the Forbes Insights site, there's also an assessment tool that you can use to see how your organisation stacks up against the analytics leaders.

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