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Bridging the Gap Between Analytics Expectations and Reality

Newly published research shows that companies aren’t getting the most out of their analytics. Companies surveyed by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR) report that two of the most important strategic benefits of using data analytics are (1) identifying new revenue and business models and (2) becoming more innovative. But there’s a gap between expectations and reality, and companies are falling short of their aspirations.

“39% of companies want to identify new revenue and business opportunities with data analytics. Only 23% can. 30% want to be more innovative. Only 14% are.” 

Infusing analytics everywhere and building analytics experiences for everyone is the future of data and business. So we asked why so many companies fail to get what they want from their analytics, and how the right analytics platform can help.

Why do efforts to find new revenue streams and increase innovation with data fail?

Our experts identify two primary routes to success when it comes to increasing innovation or finding new revenue streams. The first is data utilization: properly leveraging customer, product, and market data to understand how to drive product development. Good data utilization can simply be described as using your data on your customers to know them well and understand their needs, and then creating something of value for them. This is in line with the HBR survey results that indicate the broader the access to data within an organization, the more strategic the benefit: 

“Companies where 40% or more of the workforce has data access were 19 percentage points higher in reporting new revenue streams as a top benefit from data analytics investments.” 

The second route to success is innovation to stay one step ahead of the competition. This could involve building a new product line or a new feature, such as infusing analytics into an existing software product. Data can also help uncover insights from your customers; for example, maybe there is a small segment that is loyal yet underserved by your products or services that could allow you to enter a new market.

When it comes to using data to increase innovation, organizations need to turn into revenue stream innovation factories. Companies should find ways to lower the cost of experimentation, decrease the time to value, and scale successful experimentation into products quickly. 

Data utilization and innovation are areas where businesses often fall short. According to the HBR report, less than 49% of respondents say they are driving innovation with data, partly because data must be brought together in a usable format and often it doesn’t happen. Embedding dashboards into top business applications is one way to start, but to drive full data adoption, data needs to be infused into processes and workflows as well.

What are examples of companies that have done these things well?

In healthcare, Billing Savi has done a great job of monetizing data to drive revenue, partnering with customers in the sector to improve patient care and creating new opportunities for its customers. Luma Health has leveraged analytics to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, using machine learning and AI to enable healthcare providers and their staff to better communicate with and listen to patients, improve appointment scheduling, and implement screening solutions to patients.

UiPath, the pioneer in robotic process automation, has used data and analytics to better understand customer needs, learn how data could empower them, and increase the stickiness of its products. As a result, it has been able to unlock the opportunities of enterprise-grade automation and worker productivity and creativity while embracing the digital transformation process. 

Personal audio powerhouse Skullcandy illustrates how analytics can drive product innovation, using predictive and sentiment analysis to better understand how customers behave, as well as likes and dislikes. Then the company uses intelligence from a huge well of structured and unstructured data to modify the design of new products before going to market, in order to enhance product offerings and the customer experience.

Infusion is the way forward

We learn from the HBR survey that companies are missing huge data-driven opportunities and significant intelligence by not making analytics an integral part of the way they work. 

“Only 14% [of respondents] report that data analytics are built into nearly all employee tools/workflows. While 17% say data analytics are built into few or no workflows, most responses fell somewhere in the middle: 35% say analytics are in over half but not all workflows; another 35% say analytics are in less than half but not zero workflows.” 

Infused analytics can become a seamless part of your workflow, and that of your customers, revolutionizing our ways of working and our decision-making. In short, if you want your organization to flourish now and in the data-driven future, infused analytics is unavoidable.