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Massive gap between business priorities and performance - how analytics can bridge the gap

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Wed 8 Sep 2021

Research has revealed a significant gap between regional enterprises' business priorities and performance, which can be overcome by targeting the lack of workforce and process related analytics capabilities.

Delivering fresh insights into Asia Pacific (APAC) enterprises' ability to create business value from data analytics, Alteryx has released findings from its research titled, Toward Analytics Automation in Asia Pacific. The study was conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) and commissioned by Alteryx.

According to the research, APAC enterprises' top business priorities include customer experience, productivity enhancement, cost reduction, new product development and business model innovation. Currently, while more than 90% of business executives believe that data analytics are important for their organisation to remain performant, less than one in five (19%) enterprises across the region have achieved high analytics maturity. 

The report found enterprises that are 'analytics experts' tend to outperform their peers across all major business priorities, especially in areas like cost reduction (56%), business model innovation (28%), new product development (17%) and market expansion (12%).

To help APAC enterprises determine their analytics maturity level, IDC has designed a framework to assess their standing across four key dimensions - strategy, data, workforce and process - before providing an aggregated score that identifies beginners, practitioners, or experts. 

The research found that enterprises across the region are more mature in strategy and data dimensions, with 48% having achieved buy-in and alignment amongst key stakeholders regarding analytics initiatives. Still, only 38% have established policies and practices ensuring data integrity. 

However, a large majority lack the necessary workforce (86%) and process capabilities (93%), which Alteryx says are crucial for driving data-driven transformation at scale and deriving long-term business value.

"In today's volatile, uncertain and challenging business environment, enterprises have expressed the need to invest in mission-critical business areas," says Alteryx senior VP, APJ, Julian Quinn.

"In addition, with the evolving needs of customers, enterprises must innovate their business models to meet new requirements. The findings show a consensus towards the critical role that analytics plays in driving business performance. Yet, organisations are grappling with multiple challenges in using data analytics, uncovering the need to improve workforce and process analytics capabilities."

He says to deliver breakthrough outcomes; organisations need to automate processes and democratise data analytics, elevating the workforce's ability to gain on-demand insights for thriving in their roles.

The research suggests enterprises need to build workforce or process-related capabilities to derive business value from data analytics. It found that in their daily roles, executives across the region currently struggle with hard to use tools (55%), scattered and unmanaged tools (49%), lack of timely access to data (44%), data lineage and integrity (44%) and lack of data literacy (43%). 

These challenges are exacerbated by increased complexity and organisational demands for data analytics to be delivered at greater speed and scale. The average APAC enterprise currently faces internal requests to include 26 new data sources and 30 new data types per month.

"Despite the rapid rate of digital transformation and data generation, many organisations in Asia Pacific are not yet experts in data analytics," says IDC APAC associate VP, Dr Chris Marshall.

"They're at the beginner's stage in their workforce and process dimensions that are critical for empowering employees to do their jobs better, faster and with more significant impact.

"In the face of workforce and process challenges, organisations today can close the gaps with advanced analytics tools. Analytic process automation is a low-code solution that emerged as a way forward to remove friction, enabling analytics capabilities to scale quickly across the entire organisation," he says.

The research also highlights the potential of a self-service, human-centric analytics automation platform to bridge existing workforce and process capability gaps, address analytics challenges faced by executives, and put organisations on a path to become analytics experts.

"Data should no longer sit idly in an organisation," says Quinn. 

"With the help of analytics automation, an organisation can leverage its best assets - people, processes and data - to empower their workforce to increase overall organisational performance and efficiency, so decision-making is faster and more reliable."

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