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Fred Balboni, Business Analytics and Optimization Leader, IBM Global Business Services

Fred Balboni, Business Analytics and Optimization Leader, IBM Global Business Services

By Fred Balboni

Today’s marketplace is competitive. Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their enterprise to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Business and technology executives alike are racing to convert data-driven insights into meaningful results.

IBM has proven experience and expertise turning data into value. But we wanted to know: are all investments created equal? Is there a secret sauce that enables one organization to derive more value from their data than another organization?

To help us answer these fundamental questions, we engaged the IBM Institute for Business Value to survey nearly 1,000 business and IT executives from around the globe. The survey was designed to identify and differentiate specific activities that can help organizations derive more value from their data.

IBM’s new report, “Analytics: A Blueprint for Value” found that a large number of organizations are faring exceptionally well, as they put their analytics dollars towards funding strategic growth and innovation initiatives.

More than 75 percent of the highest performing organizations cite growth or innovation as the chief value of business analytics. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of these organizations say they are driving considerable value within the first six months of adoption.

Still, many are not maxing out their investments. It today’s competitive landscape, this is an advantage they cannot afford to lose.

SP Balboni infographic


So what’s holding organizations back? More than half of the top performing organizations said that they are struggling to overcome political or executive resistance to capitalize on their investments. While many have a solid analytics strategy in place, they aren’t focusing enough on the people and their organizational structure to support their strategies.  Executives need to consider the cultural impact and changes required to operate as a fact-driven organization and be able to measure success when it occurs.

Most executives need to approach analytics with a business-driven blueprint, an approach that defines how and why the organizations will use technology through three lenses: strategy, technology and organization.

  • Strategy:  analytic strategies need to enable an organization’s most important business objectives
  • Technology: the technology needs to support the analytics strategy
  • Organization:  The organization’s culture needs to evolve so people can use the technology to take informed actions

For analytics strategy to truly flourish within an enterprise, executive advocates need to endorse and fund transformational projects. Then, leaders must be willing to work across roles and organizational silos to share data, information and insights. Lastly, the right skills have to be cultivated within the organization so that individuals will be empowered to act on the data to make strategic decisions.

I know, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

If all this is mastered, what lies ahead?  Greater promise, greater opportunities and even greater returns from your investments.

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