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As the modern business landscape continues to evolve, enterprises are racing toward data-driven approaches to drive differentiation and growth. A lot of focus is on analytics, with a significant number of organizations looking at it to gain insights for improved decision-making. 

The demand is such that almost 73% of 1500 business leaders surveyed by analytics automation company Alteryx and IDC see spending on analytics, and the technologies driving it, outpacing other software investments in the next 12 to 18 months. At the same time, many respondents also claimed that only about half of their business decisions are currently based on analytics — suggesting there is a significant gap that needs to be addressed in order to drive higher ROI from analytics investments.

4 dimensions of analytics proficiency 

To answer where enterprises might be lagging behind and what they should focus on, IDC and Alteryx looked closely at companies witnessing higher analytics ROI across key business metrics, including those focused on financial, customer and employee aspects. An in-depth analysis revealed a correlation with four key dimensions: Comprehensiveness, flexibility, ubiquity and usability. 

Under comprehensiveness, the survey suggests that organizations have to focus on unlocking the value of all data types and sources that are available to them. Essentially, the survey found that 90% of the organizations witnessing improved customer metrics were either good or great at utilizing all data sources, while a significant 84% looked at all data types. This aspect ties directly to well-defined data accessibility and governance policies.

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Flexibility involves the deployment of the analytics offering across departments. In the survey, companies that used analytics solutions (other than spreadsheets) for an average of four business domains saw improved ROI across all key metrics. This can be further complemented by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and automation throughout the steps of the analytics life cycle, the report added.

For ubiquity, companies have to make sure that most of their knowledge workers are active analytics users — regardless of their skill level. In the survey, 68% of the companies with higher ROI said that at least a quarter of their knowledge workers are active users of analytics software. This kind of response can only be assured by investing in data literacy programs and removing barriers to collaboration.

Finally, the analytics software also has to be usable and well-integrated. About 77% of the respondents witnessing higher financial ROI said that they had all five steps of the analytics process — from data access to results — integrated end-to-end on a single platform. This experience can further be improved through automation in the workflow, the survey noted. 

Currently, more than half of the organizations have not opted for an end-to-end integrated workflow, while 60% are yet to automate the data preparation process.

Data analytics opportunity

As the volume of data surges within the enterprise, analytics will become a critical driver of growth, and so will these four dimensions. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global big data analytics market size was valued at $271.83 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow to $655.53 billion by 2029, with a CAGR of 13.4% during the forecast period.

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