IBM: Corporate culture stands in way of enterprise analytics adoption

A new study finds that organizational challenges and resistance -- more so than technology hurdles -- are holding companies back from fully integrating analytics across their companies.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Technology expenses and hurdles aren't standing in the way of enterprise-wide analytics adoption as much as the old corporate culture is, according to new research released jointly by the IBM Institute for Business Value and the MIT Sloan Management Review.

The report, entitled "Analytics: The Widening Divide," discovered that nearly half (44 percent) of organizations identify "cultural barriers" as the main deterrent, with the requirement for new leadership competencies and organizational resistance to new ideas cited as the primary barriers.

Yet only 24 percent argued that the stall was due to technology concerns.

Basically, the majority of organizations that are using analytics for financial and operational management and activities, but the numbers taper off when it comes to using analytics-based insights for decisions in other key areas.

For reference, the survey is based on responses from more than 4,500 executives, managers and analysts in more than 120 countries and 30 industries.

IBM's global leader for business analytics and optimization Fred Balboni made the case in prepared remarks that "early and aggressive" analytics adopters tend to have better performance and prove to be more competitive.

These indicators point to an urgent need for organizations to foster a data-oriented culture and drive an analytics strategy that embeds fact-based insights into decisions and processes at every level of the business.

For example, in last year's study on the same topic, researchers broke down organizations into three possible categories on this regard:

  • Aspirationals (basic users)
  • Experienced users
  • Transformed (advanced users)

Less than a quarter of Aspirationals and about one half of Experienced group users utilize data analytics for decisions about business strategy and customers.

Although researchers posited that Transformed organizations still have work to do, they're outpacing the other groups considerably as this group was found to be more than three times as likely to make better decisions faster than Aspirationals.

Furthermore, Transformed organizations were more apt to mitigate and anticipate risks farther in advance while being able to leverage big data to better understand and engage with their customers in new ways.


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