Smart Use of Data Drives Dollars

This is the title that a University of Texas research project gave to the use of Business Intelligence to capitalize on the massive amounts of data being produced every day. “Peer inside any Fortune 1000 company and you’ll see data everywhere, most of it quite timely and accurate,” says IT researcher Anitesh Barua. “But data doesn’t give you competitive advantage. For that you need other attributes like intelligence, usability, accessibility and mobility, and we now have the research results to convince CEOs and CFOs of that.”

The latest data analytics study, conducted by The University of Texas at Austin and sponsored by Sybase, gives low marks for data intelligence to most Fortune 1000 companies. Essentially, there’s plenty of untapped potential.

"In the median Fortune 1000 business, increasing the usability of data by just 10 percent translates to an increase in $2.01 billion in total revenue every year,” says Barua.

One area that responds well to improved data use is the ability to introduce new products that are needed in the market, yet it seems that many CIOs and other top executives view data and technology systems as projects to be completed, not as assets that can be optimized for ongoing data analysis.

Studying more than 150 companies worldwide, the researchers found the gaps where companies often under-use or undervalue the data they already possess, which shows the financial power of business intelligence today. Other results showed that companies had the chance to grow their customer base or expand their product/service offerings would they have better prepared for a data-driven future.

Dr. Barua and researchers at the Indian School of Business examined four features of data inside corporations: quality, intelligence, usability and mobility. Each of those characteristics are on the rise meaning companies should be getting smarter, faster.

barua triangle

The challenge that remains now is to change the executive mindset from seeing investment in BI as a technology overhead to seeing it as a strategic business factor.

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