Using Data – Salesforce 2015 State of Analytics

A couple weeks back we dug in to ways that businesses can get better at using data. It’s hardly a prescient topic, because the amount of data that’s being collected it skyrocketing. By 2020, the number of data sources analysed by enterprise will increase by 83%. It’s an impressive number when you consider the sheer amount of data that is already being collected, up 20% in the last 5 years.

This, and a host of other information, was released with Salesforce’s 2015 State of Analytics report. Over two thousand business leaders were surveyed across a variety of continents and industries, and not all of them Salesforce customers.

The manual nature of processing data is a bottleneck that needs to be resolved, report more than half of the respondents. Collecting data is not enough; it needs to be processed and analysed in an expeditious manner. Many respondents say that the manual nature of data—updating spreadsheets, ensuring the latest versions are always accessible, and the need to analyse large chunks without directive—is causing issues with how data is adopted and used in business. Legacy systems that aren’t designed to connect with modern apps are being replaced by 3rd party systems.

The lack of automation is a significant pain point for businesses, however 9/10 enterprise leaders believe analytics are essential to their overall business strategy. It’s critical to driving business strategy and finding ways to maximise your position in the market.

It should be no surprise, then, that high performing enterprises are nearly 5 times more likely than underperformers to agree that data drives business decisions. It’s about acknowledging, collecting, and utilising data. If you look to your own business, I’d be willing to bet that your greatest successes have come when you have a firm grip on the details of what you’re working toward. The term data is ephemeral, and often means that you know your customers.

The report also delves in to ways that you can use data in the short term, and it all comes down to finding operational efficiencies and facilitating growth. If you can shave 1% off of your operating budget by removing redundancy, that’s going to be a win. The data that you’ve collected on your existing customer patterns can be used to identify new revenue streams and predict future behaviours.

The speed of business has changed, and use of data is continuing to spur innovation. When a business leader sees potential, they don’t want to wait months, weeks, or even days for a development cycle to create something to take advantage of that trend.  High-performing companies have always been on the leading edge of trends in technology use; that is simply more obvious in the era of big data.

Does this report change your mind on how you should be using data, or merely reinforce your preconceptions? Do you think it’s right on or way off the mark? Drop your comments in the box below.

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