When it comes to predictive business metrics, most companies are laggards

A new Gartner survey finds that less than half of all enterprises have access to the predictive metrics they need to proactively meet or anticipate customers' needs on the fly.


Business intelligence and big data continue to garner a ton of deserved attention these days as companies race to make sense of all the data they're collecting at an unprecedented pace. But without context, it's not a tool or a competitive advantage – it's just another problem to solve.

A new Gartner study of 498 enterprise business and IT leaders reveals that while 71 percent understand which key performance indicators are most critical to supporting their business strategies, 48 percent said they still don't have the ability to access the metrics used to help them understand how their work contributes to these indicators.

And less than one in three (31 percent) has a holistic dashboard in place to provide visibility of these metrics in order to make informed business decisions on the fly.

That's not great news considering that organizations that manage to figure out how to use predictive performance metrics stand to increase their overall profitability by at least 20 percent over the next three years, according to Gartner.

And those that don't?

"Business process directors who don't apply predictive metrics to cross-boundary business processes will leave their organizations vulnerable to the risk of failing to execute their business strategies," analyst Samantha Searle said in the report. "This ability will be crucial in determining the organizations who survive the shift towards a digital world and those who will be left behind."

This avalanche of data combined with customers' ever-increasing expectations puts a lot of pressure on companies to make optimization adjustments in real time to remain competitive. That means investing not only in new technologies, but in new ways of thinking about how business processes need to be refined to leverage all this information and drive profitability.

To that end, expert more investments in so-called intelligent business process management suites and operational intelligence platforms designed to identify and respond to unexpected business disruptions or opportunities.

Gartner predicts BPMS sales will surge to more than $2.8 billion in this year, up 8.8 percent from 2013.