1 Becoming bold with big data How Australian organisations can boost their adoption of big data to help drive business success
2 2 Big data Big data An untapped opportunity for Australian organisations According to research conducted by Accenture Digital in 2014, 89% of global organisations believe big data will have a revolutionary impact on their operations equal to the creation of the internet.1 Yet even though Australian organisations have the data and technology needed to implement successful big data strategies, they re moving far too slowly. Many leading organisations are currently using big data - the collection and analysis of large amounts of unstructured data to develop valuable customer insights, refine product development and optimise the supply chain. However, Australia lags the world in the way organisations use big data. According to Accenture s 2014 Big Success with Big Data survey, Australian organisations are among the least likely to understand the benefits of big data. For example, we found that just over half of Australian organisations believe big data can be of significant value to their operations compared with 82% of respondents globally. By not harnessing the potential benefits of big data, Australian organisations are falling behind leading practice, and are potentially putting themselves at a disadvantage. For instance, they may not be exploring innovative and customercentric strategies that are vital to establishing a sustainable competitive advantage. In addition, they are potentially opening themselves up to disruption from competitors who are already using big data strategies. Yet, our survey also found that Australian organisations do have foundations in place to support big data strategies. That is, they are already collecting customer data, and they have some technology in place to derive value from it. However, many don t understand the potential of big data, don t feel competitive pressure to adopt big data platforms or don t have the support of leadership teams to develop organisation-wide big data platform strategies. Given the successful experiences of organisations overseas, we believe that now is the time for Australian organisations to become bold with big data. In this report, we will focus on the possible reasons why Australian organisations are lagging in their use of big data. We will also suggest several ideas to help such organisations accelerate their take-up of big data initiatives.
3 Big data 3 Sitting on the sidelines Right now, the big data race is being run. Organisations all over the world, including many in Asia, are already using big data platforms to significantly increase their capabilities. So, why aren t Australian organisations competing? Our survey findings tell a consistent story: big data platforms aren t being leveraged as aggressively and competitively by Australian organisations. Australia was consistently ranked in the bottom quartile for the use of big data across a range of nine functional areas including new sources of revenue, new product/service development, and improving enterprise-wide performance. The survey has identified three major stumbling blocks to the local adoption of big data strategies. Firstly, many Australian organisations do not appreciate the potential value of big data. According to our survey, only 58% of Australian organisations believe big data has the power to deliver value to their operations. This is significantly behind the global average of 82% as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1: Fewer Australian organisations see the benefit of big data My company believes big data has the potential to provide a significant source of value to the business Australia 58% Global 30% 82% 8% 4% 15% 1% 2% Strongly Agree/Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
4 4 Big data Secondly, around two-thirds of Australian organisations don t think that other enterprises are using big data platforms, and therefore they don t feel the need to keep pace. At present, around one-third of Australian organisations are using big data to maintain competitiveness, which is the lowest result of all 19 countries surveyed from the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Our research found that competitive pressures encouraging the active use of big data platforms are more intense in other countries. Organisations in nations such as China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore are feeling the heat and are trying to stay ahead of the competition. Only 34% of Australian organisations use big data as a way of remaining competitive, compared with 58% of global respondents. Similarly, 79% of organisations globally either agree or strongly agree that without embracing big data, they could lose their competitive position. Yet, only 68% of Australian organisations share this concern. In Australia, some organisations have a complacent attitude toward big data. This creates a situation where the first mover in the field could establish a significant advantage over its local competitors. Interestingly, Australian organisations are taking longer to see big data as a driver of digital transformation, ranking 19th of all 19 countries surveyed. Only 70% of organisations in Australia versus 89% globally consider big data extremely important or very important (Figure 2) and 28% of Australian organisations (versus 11% globally) remain less enthusiastic about big data s role.
5 Big data 5 Thirdly, Australian respondents were the least confident that their board and C-suite executives understood and supported big data platforms and analytics. This is a roadblock to the adoption of related initiatives. According to our survey, only 36% of Australian organisations (versus 57% in Asia Pacific) stated that their leadership extensively understood and supported big data strategies (Figure 3). In contrast, 14% of Australian organisations see their senior leadership as scarcely supporting big data initiatives compared with 3% of global and Asia Pacific organisations surveyed. Interestingly, data collection is not a barrier. We found 72% of Australian organisations were actively collecting and using some types of data and they are amongst the most active users of online purchasing data, governmental data and machine process control data as evident in Figure 4. However, only 36% of Australian respondents stated they were extensively using big data to improve the customer experience compared with 47% of companies globally (Figure 5). Figure 2: Importance of big data in digital transformation 2% Australia 44% Asia Pacific 51% Global 48% Extremely important Very important 26% 12% 38% 41% Moderately important Slightly important 2% 14% 8% 3% 9% 2% Not important at all Don t know Figure 3: Level of senior leadership support for big data initiatives Australia 36% 50% 14% Asia Pacific 57% 40% 3% Global 55% 42% 3% Extensively Moderately Scarcely
6 6 Big data Figure 4: Use of data by Australian organisations 1. Australian organisations lag in the use of many data sources 1.1. Transactional data managed by the IT function (ERP, CRM, etc.) 2. Australian organisations however lead in the use of some data sources 1.5. Customer location data 46% 32% 65% 2.1. Customer online purchasing data 36% 62% 72% 33% 1.2. Customer clickstream data 67% 63% 1.6. Data obtained through partner websites 36% 22% 55% 34% 50% 2.2. Governmental data (e.g. census data, Bureau of Labor Statistics, weather, mapping) 54% 31% 1.3. Data about competitors 47% 1.7. Competitor websites 44% 18% 42% 48% 18% 48% 18% 2.3. Machine/process control/sensor data 42% 33% 1.4. Syndicated or other purchased 3rd party external data (e.g AC Nielsen, FICO) 42% 4% 8% 49% 7% 42% Key Australia 1.8. Other website data Asia Pacific Global 31%
7 Big data 7 Figure 5: Organisations using big data to improve the customer experience Australia 36% Asia Pacific 45% Global 47% Extensively 52% 8% 48% 45% Moderately Scarcely 4% 6% 1% 7% 1% Not at all
8 8 Big data Build big data capabilities for big benefits Around the world, leading organisations are harnessing the power of big data platforms to help achieve business benefits such as developing a deeper understanding of their customers and streamlining processes to become more efficient and reduce costs. Taking big data to retail Accenture helped a major retailer implement big data and analytics to improve its recommendation engine for sales through multiple channels, including mobile devices. The project teams worked to help improve the speed and effectiveness of systems that analysed data to suggest products and services most likely to appeal to individual customers. Improving well operations Through harnessing the power of big data, Accenture s solution helped the retailer achieve a multimillion-dollar boost in e-commerce revenues in only three months. In addition, the company has gained greater capacity to track data at an accelerated rate now greater than 100 gigabytes a day.2 A large oil and gas production company oversees the operations of approximately 40,000 active wells. An existing system monitored well operations and processes in near real time with SCADA data coming from the wells. A stable, medium scale big data platform (with around 100 terabytes of storage) was implemented. This enabled increased SCADA data scope, scale, and resolution with several hundred megabytes being ingested every five minutes. This enabled the organisation to address use cases such as providing mobile notifications based on production data set-point alarms, correlating business data warehouse and SCADA information as well analysing the impact of well maintenance visits on well production. This effort was a component of a company-wide effort to drive a 50% reduction in well downtime.3
9 Big data 9 Launching new products Entertaining the use of big data Airline manages fleet with big data Mobile operators need not be overwhelmed by big data, even in today s competitive and converging business environment. One mobile operator overcame its initial reluctance, carefully assessed the opportunities and challenges, and went on to build and launch a new insight product in just nine months, with projected revenues of $200 million over two years. This is likely to be just the start, as the operator is now developing new applications for a wide range of industry sectors.4 A leading gaming and entertainment company wanted to more effectively use customer insights to create successful new products. The company already collected terabytes of data each day from search engines, sensors, gaming consoles and campaign responses. Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is working with Taleris as part of a proactive approach to managing its fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The technology analyses large scale data from multiple sensors on components and systems, and warns of imminent problems. According to Werner Rothenbaecher, Etihad s senior vice president/technical, With Taleris prognostics, we will be able to predict future faults and take proactive measures, which result in less unscheduled disruption to our global operations. 6 Accenture is helping the company use big data and analytics to gain insights into customer behaviour, preferences and buying patterns. These actionable insights are being harnessed to revolutionise the customer experience, and to boost reporting speeds ten-fold to drive faster decision making. In addition, the company has used big data to develop a baseline of customer behaviour to underpin a five-year product development forecast and plan.5
10 10 Big data Big data brings big benefits Australian organisations need to become bolder with big data and realise its benefits. It can take time to lay the right foundations for big data platforms; by the time you decide it s time to move, your competitors may have already developed new capabilities and differentiated their competitive offerings. Based on Accenture s research and experience, by implementing big data initiatives, companies can achieve potential benefits such as: real-time, analytics-based operations and management decision making a substantially enhanced customer experience greater cost and operational efficiencies, including lower total cost of ownership more agile workforces and organisation-wide processes. Four ways to get in the game and drive big data strategies While big data has numerous potential benefits, we acknowledge that it can be challenging to put the right arrangements in place. To help manage this process, we suggest Australian organisations take the following steps. 1. Get the reasons for big data strategies right In our view, companies should not use big data to provide new sources of information. Rather, organisations should use big data strategies to bring about business outcomes by improving their core processes, such as supply chain management or boosting cross-selling opportunities. To drive such an approach, organisations need to develop an enterprise value road map, build a business case for improvement, and then explore how big data can achieve specific objectives. This strategy is guided by the following steps: Design a value roadmap: How will you drive value and deploy big data initiatives across your organisation? This will require leadership, as decision makers must determine how to scale big data platforms. Prove via a core process: Undertake a proof of concept for a big data initiative in a single business function. Once proven, additional functions can be incorporated into this platform. Industrialise the data foundation: If not already in place, make sure the data foundations are secure. Understand what information is most frequently accessed within your organisation, and where the gaps are between the data your organisation needs and what it already captures. Work out new ways of combining internal data with external data sources.
11 Big data 11 Give power to your people: Any new platform, including big data is only valuable if the insights generated improve business outcomes, particularly in core operational processes. Organisations should ensure appropriate people have access to trusted and reliable data sets, and leverage the insights actively and measurably. Stay innovative and stay on course: Set short or medium term innovation plans per functional area, that target rapid responses to questions and problems and continue to innovate, iterate and expand the scope of big data focus areas, as appropriate. 2. Build big data into your customer experience agenda Big data platforms have the ability to personalise and transform the customer experience. For instance, according to our research, 79% of all respondents believe that big data is changing the way organisations interact with their customers. As a result, 91% of all respondents are using big data strategies to enhance the customer experience. This growing link between big data and customer interactions is set to increase in coming years. Respondents told us that, over the next three to five years, one of the largest effects of big data would be on customer relationships. Australian organisations recognise this trend: 62% of respondents stated that big data would affect their customer relationships. The point here is that leading companies will look specifically at using big data platforms to transform the way they interact with their customers, in real time. Big data platforms offer organisations the opportunity to have a deep understanding of their customers and their preferences, by absorbing large amounts of information and processing context in real time. This can help underpin precisely targeted actions across the customer lifecycle, including campaigns to acquire customers, delivery of personalised surprise and delight services and active retention and relationship growth strategies. Indeed, this was the experience of the gaming and entertainment company described in the section on Big data capabilities for big benefits.
12 12 Big data 3. Educate executive teams on the benefits of big data As seen in the survey findings, senior leadership teams in Australia are relatively less aware of the value of big data in increasing competitiveness and driving business success. To resolve this situation, boards and C-suites in Australian companies should work to understand the potential of big data, and then take the lead on creating big data platforms. To ensure decision makers are focused on these issues, organisations can develop key performance indicators that encompass effective big data strategies. Examples of successful big data implementations from outside an organisation can also be used to excite and inform company leaders. In driving these discussions, it s important not to overwhelm the C-suite with talk about technology. Rather, organisations should focus on the importance of establishing a clear value strategy and vision and then committing to achieving these strategies. This approach was demonstrated in the case studies listed earlier in the report, where organisations first sought to identify the major business challenges they faced, such as customer retention, and then harness the power of big data to address these issues. 4. Build a talent strategy Talent is becoming a significant challenge in pursuing big data strategies. According to our survey, organisations outside Australia are already looking to build their data science and analytics expertise. For example, in our survey, 91% of respondents globally stated they were looking to expand their data science teams. To avoid a potential war for skilled professionals, Australian organisations should examine ways to boost their big data talent base across their operations and address the growing analytics talent demand. One strategy would be for Australian companies to build the big data skills of existing employees through training and development. At present, organisations are using a mix of internal technical training and outside expertise for their big data implementations. Of the 19 countries surveyed, Australian organisations are the least aggressive in their intent to build data science capabilities. In this environment, we believe local businesses should be more aggressive in developing talent strategies to create a pipeline of workers equipped with big data knowledge and capabilities. In particular, organisations could consider the following activities: Make analytics roles more attractive: Companies could achieve this by informing university graduates about the prospects offered by a career in analytics, and making the jobs more attractive by more effectively defining roles and allocating engaging tasks. In addition, organisations could examine ways to create more flexible career paths and identify opportunities to establish more senior analytics positions. Expand consideration sets of sources for analytics roles: Organisations could look outside traditional recruiting pools for more diverse talent including those who can bring creativity and imagination to data visualisation. After all, not every analytics job requires a PhD or industry experience. Develop strategies to better retain their current analytics talent: This could involve prioritising team learning, such as by encouraging data scientists to broaden their skillset through training, development and peer learning. In addition, organisations could explore remote working options to drive greater collaboration without forcing workers to relocate.7,8
13 Big data 13 Your next steps Operationalising big data platforms will potentially bring big benefits. Australian companies must move now and become bold with big data to help potentially establish a sustainable competitive advantage. To learn more about how Accenture can help you understand and develop big data strategies, please visit or contact Michael Pain, Managing Director, Accenture Analytics Australia and New Zealand at
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15 Big data 15 References 1. Accenture, Big Success with Big Data, Accenture, Large Global Retailer: Big-Data Analytics Boost Retail Revenues and Accelerates Suggestions Via E-Commerce, com/sitecollectiondocuments/pdf/accenturelarge-global-retailer-big-data-analyticsboost-revenues.pdf. 3. Accenture client name withheld for confidentiality reasons. 4. Data Monetisation in the Age of Big Data: Five Steps for Mobile Operators - Page Accenture client name withheld for confidentiality reasons. 6. Digitising Energy: Analytics-Powered Performance - Opportunities for Oil and Gas Companies to Improve Business Outcomes. Page 20 Pages/insight-digitizing-energy-analyticspowered-performance.aspx 8. Source: It takes teams to solve the data scientist shortage originally published in The Wall Street Journal: CIO Journal on February 14, 2014, com/us-en/pages/insight-teams-solve-datascientist-shortage.aspx 7. Source: The looming global analytics talent mismatch in oil and gas, October 2012,
16 About the research Accenture s 2014 Big Success with Big Data research studied more than 1,000 respondents across seven industries and 19 countries that had completed at least one big data implementation. In Australia, 50 respondents from the communications, banking, insurance, retail, energy, consumer goods and services, and healthcare industries completed the survey. For more information, please contact Michael Pain Managing Director, Accenture Analytics Australia and New Zealand About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 305,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, Its home page is Accenture Analytics, part of Accenture Digital, delivers insight-driven outcomes at scale to help organisations leverage the digital revolution for their competitive advantage. With deep industry, functional, business process and technical experience, Accenture Analytics develops innovative consulting and outsourcing services for clients seeking superior returns on their analytics investment. For more information, follow and visit Disclaimer This document makes descriptive reference to trademarks that may be owned by others. The use of such trademarks herein is not an assertion of ownership of such trademarks by Accenture and is not intended to represent or imply the existence of an association between Accenture and the lawful owners of such trademarks. Copyright 2014 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture