July 7, 2011 – More small and midsized businesses are taking on business analytics, though spotty reporting and data inaccuracies show their adoption is still relatively immature, according to new findings from Ventana Research.

In their new benchmark research on business analytics for SMBs, Ventana pegs 15 percent of all small and midsize businesses are functioning at the highest Innovative level of maturity in their use of analytics. A lack of maturity can be found in how KPIs are provided: 51 percent of SMBs present metrics at the end of the month, quarter or year, and nearly half of those organizations (47 percent) stated the data is already outdated. In all, just more than half (52 percent) of SMBs stated that the data they receive is somewhat accurate.

In another instance, Ventana pointed to the 62 percent of SMBs that reported to use their analytics tool only to generate desktop spreadsheets, which Ventana notes is not the most accurate or efficient use of capabilities.

Thirty-nine percent of SMBs are not satisfied with their analytics creation process, while 44 percent are content, according to the research. When asked about the current technology for creating and applying analytics, 10 percent responded as “very satisfied,” and 19 percent responded as “not satisfied.”

The report concluded that, though more organizations are adopting some level of analytics, there are gaps or lags in automation and integration efforts. Robert Kugel, SVP of research at Ventana, said in a news release that accompanied the results that the smoother the business analytics process for SMBs, the better competitive advantage to be found in an uneven marketplace.

"Without a strong business analytics foundation they simply won’t be able to understand where to optimize performance, let alone plan to achieve the goals required for guiding an organization’s performance,” Kugel said.

To register and view a Web seminar on the findings, click here.

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