Forget AI for a minute: The focus is on the basics

Published on the 07/02/2018 | Written by Newsdesk

Focus on basic data_analytic models

Organisations slow to advance in data and analytics…

Despite the fixation with advanced forms of data analytics like the buzzy machine learning, a Gartner survey has found that traditional approaches and methods still dominate in most organisations. The results of a  worldwide poll of 196 organisations showed 91 percent have not yet reached a ‘transformational’ level of maturity in data and analytics. And that’s despite this area being a number one investment priority for CIOs in recent years.

“It’s easy to get carried away with new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Nick Heudecker, Gartner research VP in a statement. “But traditional forms of analytics and business intelligence remain a crucial part of how organisations are run today, and this is unlikely to change in the near future.”

Heudecker said most organisations should be doing better with data and analytics, given the potential benefits. “Organisations at transformational levels of maturity enjoy increased agility, better integration with partners and suppliers, and easier use of advanced predictive and prescriptive forms of analytics. This all translates to competitive advantage and differentiation.”

The global survey asked respondents to rate their organisations according to Gartner’s five levels of maturity for data and analytics (see Figure 1). It found that 60 percent of respondents worldwide rated themselves in the lowest three levels.

Figure 1. Overview of the Maturity Model for Data and Analytics

Maturity model for data and analytics

Source: Gartner (February 2018)

The survey revealed that 48 percent of organisations in Asia Pacific reported their data and analytics maturity to be in the top two levels. This compares to 44 percent in North America and just 30 percent in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Most respondents worldwide assessed themselves at level three (34 percent) or level four (31 percent). Twenty-one percent of respondents were at level two, and 5 percent at the basic level, level one. Just 9 percent of organisations surveyed reported themselves at the highest level, level five, where the biggest transformational benefits lie.

“Don’t assume that acquiring new technology is essential to reach transformational levels of maturity in data and analytics,” said Heudecker. “First, focus on improving how people and processes are coordinated inside the organisation, and then look at how you enhance your practices with external partners.”

Improving process efficiency was by far the most common business problem that organisations sought to address with data and analytics, with 54 percent of respondents worldwide marking it in their top three problems. Enhancing customer experience and development of new products were the joint second most common uses, with 31 percent of respondents listing each issue.

The survey also revealed that, despite a lot of attention around advanced forms of analytics, 64 percent of organisations still consider enterprise reporting and dashboards their most business-critical applications for data and analytics. Similarly, traditional data sources such as transactional data and logs also continue to dominate, although 46 percent of organisations now report using external data.

Organisations reported a broad range of barriers that prevent them from increasing their use of data and analytics. There isn’t one clear reason; organisations tend to experience a different set of issues depending on their geography and current level of maturity. However, the survey identified the three most common barriers as: defining data and analytics strategy; determining how to get value from projects; and solving risk and governance issues.


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