How to get the most out of your data analytics investment

Data may be the new oil… but most organizations still don’t know how to harness it to their advantage

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Close to 80% of Chief Information Officers surveyed in the 2017 CIO 100 research said that they would be prioritizing spending on data analytics in 2018 and 2019. Given that 80% of the organizations surveyed in the 2018 The Future Belongs to Intelligent Operations by Accenture and HfS Research said that between half and 80% of their data is unstructured and largely inaccessible, this investment is hardly surprising. But how can companies ensure they are getting the most out of their data analytics investment?

The maxim data is the new oil implies that data is an untapped and valuable asset in the digital economy, promising huge rewards for those who tap into it. For Hunter Mcdonald, CEO at Tutela, there is a partial truth in this; data is increasingly central to the smooth functioning of companies the world over.

That said, Mcdonald adds that data’s latent value has not yet been truly unlocked and the reality is that data analytics is still very much in its infancy. “Using the oil analogy, people understand how to use the resource to generate value and also understand that there is a fixed quantity available. Thus far, data doesn’t have either of these characteristics,” he says.

Getting to grips with the volume and type of data flowing through an organization can be daunting. The Global IoT Survey by Vanson Bourne, for HCL Technologies, found that organizations are struggling to use the large quantities of data that they are now collecting. As much as 91% are seeing challenges in turning data into insights. Obstacles include not using the right platform (46%) and platforms not being scalable (31%). Consequently, many organizations are collecting ‘dark data’, where answers are left untapped, which means that organizations are missing out on highly valuable insights.

On average, the survey found, it currently takes organizations nine days to convert data into useful insight, which is more than four times longer than they would like; two days is their average ideal time. The need to ensure that investment in data management and analytics yields values is more crucial than ever.

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