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IBM Analytics Study Reveals Big Data Equals Big Payoff

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Next Wave of Analytics Opportunity: People and Culture.

While more than 75% of the highest performing organizations cite growth or innovation as the chief value of business analytics, almost two-thirds of them say some form of political or executive resistance is the primary barrier to realizing the full value of their investments, according to a new study by IBM.

In its fifth global examination of the adoption and usage of analytics, IBM found that a steadily growing number of respondents (more than two-thirds) are applying business analytics to support revenue-generation strategies, versus cost containment. Additionally, the IBM Institute for Business Value study, entitled "Analytics: A Blueprint for Value," found that almost 40 percent of companies see a rapid return on investment (ROI) within the first six months of analytics adoption.

"In order to unlock the value of data, organizations need to identify different C-suite champions to get fully behind the use of analytics

The study also found three essential factors to advance business analytics within organizations - sponsorship, trust and skills -- and significant gaps in each area. By addressing these gaps, analytics leaders have an opportunity to increase executive advocacy, strengthen trust across the organization, and build deeper knowledge and skills.

"In order to unlock the value of data, organizations need to identify different C-suite champions to get fully behind the use of analytics.  Emerging roles like the Chief Data Officer and the Chief Analytics Officer are helping companies build an enterprise-wide data strategy to gain competitive advantage," said Fred Balboni, Global Leader and Partner, Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM Global Business Services. "It takes the right alignment of strategy, standards, technology and organizational structure to reap the full potential of what business analytics offers."

Executive Advocates Needed

Today, only a small percentage of C-suite leaders are strong advocates for the use of Big Data and analytics to speed decision-making and institute change. IBM's study reveals that one-quarter of all Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and Chief Operating Officers (COO), act as the lead advocates for the use of analytic insights (24 percent). This is a 10%  increase from 2012, but still far from the pervasive leadership required to spark widespread change. Besides the CEO and COO, other C-suite executives such as the CIO and CMO have the power to advance the use of Big Data and analytics across the enterprise.

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