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Data Mixed for Consumer Goods Business Analytics

October 21, 2011 – Adoption of business analytics and metrics within the consumer goods industry is developing positively but slowly, due to a mix of data quality issues and generalized use, according to new findings from Ventana Research.

In “Consumer Good Analytics: Benchmarking the Analysis of Data to Gain Insight,” Ventana corralled input from 2,600 IT and business leaders from nearly one dozen vertical industries on a range of questions about their analytics prowess and plans with consumer goods. Respondents were split almost evenly between small, medium and large businesses, and the category of consumer goods was divided by consumer products, and food and beverage.  

Thirty-eight percent of consumer goods analytics designs and deployment stem from a positive work effort between business and IT, Ventana found. Nine out of every 10 respondents noted the importance of simplifying analytics and metrics to all pertinent users.

According to the new research, nearly half of respondents stated they were “dissatisfied” with their current process used to create consumer good analytics, and only 38 percent claimed to be on the plus side of that spectrum. Confidence was also lacking in the quality of information, with 41 percent of those in the survey somewhat or not confident in their consumer good analytics. In a separate question, 52 percent of IT officers and business managers stated the data they use for business analytics is “somewhat accurate.”

Much of these issues stemmed from organizations that have little business-side support or a far-too-generalized approach to analytics, which has the potential to miss differing needs or opportunities, according to Ventana head researcher and survey author Mark A. Smith.

“Consumer goods organizations … must focus on each line of business and its needs, which vary from finance and human resources to the supply chain to marketing and sales, and to customer service and contact centers,” said Mark A. Smith, research author and head analyst at Ventana. “Just as important is supplying analytics so the internal IT group can improve its own operations and better support the enterprise systems and infrastructure that enable the rest of the organization.”

Even with lingering data quality and confidence issues, Ventana registered increasing maturity levels within many of these organizations, and16 percent of organizations ranked in the research firm’s “top tier” of information maturity.

Manufacturing, which consisted of 13 percent of consumer goods enterprises in the survey, logged the largest percentage of organizations in the highest levels of business analytics maturity and line-of-business innovation, Ventana noted.

The report builds in information from a previous Ventana research earlier this year that point to a lack of maturity with analytics tools.

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