AUGUST 22, 2017 BY XLEDGER STAFF WRITERS
At the 2017 Digital Summit conference in Denver, the representatives of firms ranging from Facebook to Marriott emphasized the importance of data and analytics. At times, the topic seemed to possess a religious weight, as though each speaker were describing some new orthodoxy or way of life.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, corporate spending seems to support this impression. The authors cite IDC statistics “estimating that global business investments in D&A will surpass $200 billion a year by 2020.”
Yet executives often approach D&A with the wrong priorities. As the article observes, too many leaders view D&A as a system of “data warehouses that perform back-office functions” rather than as a “key contributor to the development and execution of the business strategy.” The HBR authors further point to deficits in foresight, buy-in and proper framing as the causes of high failure rates across D&A initiatives (over half, by one study). From several case studies, the authors draw rules of thumb: ensure that D&A has executive buy-in, make it a company-wide commitment, and incorporate it into strategy.
Ultimately, the article joins the voices of the Digital Summit in affirming D&A as the new normal:
In an age where data is created on a scale far beyond the human mind’s ability to process it, business leaders need D&A they can trust to inform their most important decisions — not just to reduce costs but also to achieve growth. And the best will use D&A to anticipate what their customers will want or need before they even know they want or need it.