Analytics Alert

No one doubts that business analytics are penetrating enterprises at a departmental level, but the extent of this transformation hasn't been clear. Accenture's latest survey of 254 managers at large U.S. businesses (spread across customer service, finance/accounting, HR, IT and sales/marketing) sheds some light on this progress.

The survey finds that 60 percent of business decisions are currently based on analytic input. "This also tells us that two of five respondents see business running on gut instinct, something they are anxious to address," says Greg Todd, executive director of Accenture Information Management Services.

Where instinct prevails, respondents most often cite a lack of good data (or when innovating, a lack of past data) along with weak IT capabilities and processes. A good majority of companies believe they need to increase analytic resources; half predict they'll need more within 12 months. This raises the bar for recruitment and training going forward. "It is really a new skill, an evolution of the business analyst who is willing and capable of becoming technically proficient in logic, algorithms and the capacity to think differently," Todd says. Detailed findings are available at Accenture.com.

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