1 BIG DATA: A TOP- OF-THE- AGENDA ISSUE FOR BUSINESS LEADERS
2 1 Big data is a top-of-the-agenda issue for business leaders Contents The current buyer context...1 Defining analytics capabilities to serve business needs...2 Managing & mining the data...2 The Opportunity...4 With the exponential growth in big data, organizations are challenged to capture, mine, and exploit their data to provide actionable insights and competitive advantage. Big data initiatives, including analytics and business intelligence (BI) capabilities, are critical to ensuring that the right information gets to the right user at the right time, to empower better, faster decision making. McKinsey underscores the criticality of such capabilities by stating that they are starting to define the gap between the winners and the losers. i The journey from data noise to valuable insight is complex, but aggregated Gatepoint Research findings from this past year can inform marketers as to how to help their buyers better navigate this challenging path. Following are three areas where Gatepoint insights can help marketers of big data solutions to position and promote their products and services: understanding their buyer s current context, defining analytics capabilities to serve business needs, and properly managing and mining the data. The current buyer context Survey results indicate that the vast majority of organizations are experiencing cost-cutting pressures through However, there are clear priorities driving IT strategy: IT security, efficiency, and capacity management. Survey findings indicate that over the course of 2015, the need for greater big data analytics capabilities will increasingly drive the development and deployment of applications. Figure 1 How can IT better address your organization s evolving business needs? Access to business-critical data has to be real-time Upgrades, changes, deployments must go more smoothly We must be confident of overall security Systems need to have continuous, 24/7 capability IT needs to drive innovation Cost of IT operations cannot continue to rise 35% 48% 46% 57% 62% 67% Gatepoint Research % 10% 20% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%
3 Big data is a top-of-the-agenda issue for business leaders 2 Figure 2 What advantages would you derive from integrating new or improved analytics capabilities? Competitive advantage 56% Add or grow revenue streams 48% Address customer requests for new functionality Reduce support costs 37% 37% Grow market share Improve look and feel of application Streamline product development 32% Gatepoint Research % 10% 20% 40% 50% 60% However, Gatepoint findings reveal that the single greatest impediment to meeting increased needs for added analytics is staffing resources (63%) well ahead of the secondary challenge regarding the cost of hiring those skills missing among current staff (35%). Marketers can meet buyer needs by helping them to both more clearly understand the value of higher-quality, betterintegrated data, and to make the business case for data transformation. Gatepoint findings are clear: business leaders are seeking increased business performance through their IT initiatives, and, consequently, access to real-time, business critical data is their top priority (see Figure 1). Defining analytics capabilities to serve business needs Two clear motivating factors both in support of the increased business performance organizations seek drive the demand for additional analytics capabilities: the desire for faster decision making (65%), as well as the ability to provide customized on-demand reporting (54%). Survey results confirm that the strategic advantage respondents are seeking from integrating new or improved analytics capabilities is indeed, as McKinsey suggests, competitive advantage (56%), followed by both the growth of revenue streams (48%) and addressing customer needs/requests (37%). (See Figure 2) Additional Gatepoint Research findings of note: by far, the analytics capability survey respondents want to incorporate into their applications is systems-of-record (SOR) transaction data (68%). Data from the SOR helps ensure data integrity, vital to delivering accurate, actionable information. In addition, Deloitte Principal Suzanne Kounkel stresses the importance of focusing on the end result in an effort to not be overwhelmed by an extreme data environment: organizations need to hone their focus on both the business questions they need answered, and the decisions they want to inform with analytics. ii Marketers can leverage these challenges by helping buyers identify the business needs they want to address, and the best-fit analytics modeling capabilities for their organization. Managing & mining the data Gatepoint Research findings clearly illustrate that obtaining actionable data getting the right data to the right user at the right time poses a significant challenge for buyers. In fact, only 16% of survey respondents (see Figure 3) said they are able to get all the information I need when I need it.
4 3 Big data is a top-of-the-agenda issue for business leaders Figure 3 At the highest levels in your organization, what is the perception of your business intelligence? I m never 100% confident the information I get is accurate 20% I get a lot of information, but it is rather raw and unusable 19% I m able to get all the information I need, when I need it I always get all the information, but it is pretty fast 16% 15% I get all the information I need, but it could be timelier The BI tools I use could be a lot easier; I depend on IT too much 9% 12% We would love a system that gave us a single source of truth 7% Gatepoint Research % 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% One reason that is is hard for people to get all of the data they need when they need it is that the rate of data growth is at or approaching overwhelming levels for the majority of respondents. (See Figure 4) There is too much data for people to be able to manage it effectively. Another problem is that data is often locked in separate functional silos. As a result, a major way that people are enhancing analytics/bi capabilities is through better IT integrations, where systems talk with each other to support intelligence and analysis. Figure 4 How would you characterize the growth in data (customer data, accounting, transactions, etc.)? 50% 40% Average 3.65% 41% 43% Gatepoint Research % 10% 0% 11% 0% 2% Rate 1 5; 1 = no/minimal growth, 5 = overwhelming data explosion
5 Big data is a top-of-the-agenda issue for business leaders 4 Figure 5 What business intelligence (BI) solutions are in use in your organization? Excel spreadsheets 87% Relational database 74% Data warehouse 59% Cloud-based services Commercial analytics suite 31% 36% Open-source solution 13% Don t know 8% Gatepoint Research % 10% 20% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Marketers can help their customers address these challenges by helping customers identify what their business goals are for their big data/bi capabilities (i.e., what they are seeking to achieve; what problems they are trying to solve), and what types of data will inform those goals. Deloitte s Kounkel stresses the criticality of maintaining focus on only those data sets which serve business needs; she warns that the risk of retaining all customer data beyond being costly and risky is that data aggregation often becomes a bottleneck. iii Marketers can be of service to their buyers by asking them what types of data will best serve their business needs and goals. Ultimately, narrowing stored information to those data sets of greatest value provides widespread benefits: it reduces the volume load, the security risks, the resources necessary to realize these capabilities, and consequently cost, while improving the quality and accessibility of data to inform better, faster decisions. The opportunity The vast majority of organizations are actively pursuing or planning big data related IT initiatives. Big data s time is now in fact, only 23% of survey respondents indicated that improving their analytics capabilities was not costeffective to pursue. To take advantage of this big data momentum, marketers need to help buyers navigate the complexity of converting data into actionable insights. Marketers will be most successful by helping buyers understand and define their big data needs, within the context of their organizational goals. By aiding buyers to understand which business needs they are trying to serve, marketers can help buyers make a convincing business case for profitable investments in big data initiatives. i ii iii Ibid