August 30, 2011 – When it comes to emerging technologies, much can happen in the space of two years.

A new survey conducted by Bloomberg Businessweek Research and sponsored by business analytics provider SAS reveals a perceptible shift in attitude among respondents since a similar study was performed in 2009.

The survey, which queried 930 people holding C-level titles across a variety of industries, including insurance, found respondents more bullish on analytics than a few years ago. Nearly 97 percent of respondents say their organizations have adopted business analytics, compared to 90 percent in 2009. "This research reflects the growing interest of organizations around the world in greater insight and better, faster decisions through business analytics," said Jim Davis, SAS SVP and Chief Marketing Officer.

Yet, the study also confirmed that business analytics technology is only effective in when paired with the right analytic talent. Only 23 percent of respondents indicated that they currently have the right analytical talent in place, while 43 percent were planning to increase analytical talent and 22 percent recognized that their organization was deficient in analytical talent but had no plans to address it.

"Buying a hammer means you can drive a nail, but to build a house you need plans, skills and commitment,” Davis said. “It's the same for advanced analytics—tools alone will only take you part of the way.”

One way to ensure the proper wherewithal to leverage analytics is to get executive buy in. According to the survey, effective users of business analytics are nearly always (86 percent) in organizations where executive management places a great deal of trust in the results of analytics.

As for the business reasons engendering analytics use, cost reduction, increased profitability and better risk management are the three most important outcomes possible with business analytics.

This story originally appeared on Insurance Networking News.

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