Research: BI and data analytics usage up; but companies lack skills needed to take full advantage of tools


  • Provided by TechRepublic Premium
  • Published April 18, 2021
  • Topic TechRepublic Premium
  • Format PDF

From dashboards to data visualizations—not to mention descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics—the enterprise has no shortage of business intelligence and data analytics tools at its disposal.

How are companies translating analytics into actionable information, which can be used to make better business decisions? TechRepublic Premium surveyed 161 professionals to find out.

The survey asked the following questions:

  • Does your company use any business intelligence or data analytics tools (such as dashboards, data visualizations, predictive analytics, etc.)?
  • Why doesn’t your company use business intelligence or data analytics tools?
  • How does your company use analytics?
  • What benefits has your company seen as a result of using analytics?
  • Which of the following analytics tools does your company use?
  • Which of the following analytics and business intelligence vendors/products does your company use?
  • What obstacles have hampered the analytics efforts within your company?
  • Over the past 12 months, has your company been able to deliver new analytics solutions that have made measurable contributions to business decisions?
  • Does your executive management team recognize the business value that your analytics has contributed?
  • Is your executive management team more or less excited about the potential for analytics in your organization than it was one year ago?
  • What factors do you believe would increase the business value of your analytics?

Data analytics is a major driver of corporate success. This will continue in the future, as supported by the majority of respondents (79%) who said that their companies used analytics. Of the 11% of respondents who said that their company does not use any analytics tools, 21% attributed it to a lack of in-house analytics talent or skill or lack of business knowledge, and 13% cited budget constraints or lack of executive buy-in as reasons for opting out from using analytics.

More than 40% of survey respondents reported that their companies primarily use analytics for operational or sales and marketing purposes. Improved strategic decision-making was the biggest benefit of using analytics for 65% of respondents. Other benefits respondents reported included improved knowledge about customers (45%), operational cost savings (44%) and improved sales (32%).

According to 78% of respondents, dashboards were the most popular data analytics tool used. Another 65% used reporting tools, and 64% used visualization tools. Microsoft was the favored vendor/product for more than half of the respondents. Vendors such as Tableau (17%), Salesforce (15%) and IBM (10%) placed much further down in the rankings.

The majority (77%) of survey respondents said that their executive management team saw value in their deployed analytics. Only 5% reported that their executive management team saw no business value in analytics. Further, 41% of respondents reported that their executive management team was more excited about the potential of analytics than one year ago.

To read all of the survey results, plus analysis, download the full research report.

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