Toward the end of the movie The Untouchables, the mortally wounded Treasury Agent played by Sean Connery tells Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness where he can find the bookkeeper who has the goods on Al Capone. With his last breath, Connery clutches Ness and coughs this question, “What are you prepared to do?”

Ah, the relationship between good data and the ability to act on it.

According to Dan Vesset, program direction of IDC’s Business Analytics research, having a business analytics strategy that connects the dots between collecting data, analyzing it, and being able to take action is a best practice not many companies have yet recognized.

A recent IDC study found that only 25% of 4,000 organizations analyzed currently have a BI and analytics strategy – resulting in challenges in executing business goals and activities.

All of the companies may have realized a savings in technology costs. But according to IDC, the lion’s share of ROI is realized when companies develop and implement an end-to-end business analytics strategy. Of total ROI, 54% comes from business process improvements. 42% comes from productivity gains. Only 4% is produced by technology cost saving.

So, organizations will likely realize business advantages from developing and monitoring a BI and analytics strategy that addresses:

  • Metrics or key performance indicators measuring progress of business goals, objectives, and challenges across employment levels – from executives to front-line and field employees
  • BI / analytics functionality required to support various user groups including executives, managers, analysts, operations staff, field workers, customer staff, and external stakeholders
  • IT resources for addressing data integration, analysis, and management; report or dashboard development; and information access
  • Technology components that ensure support for all decision makers in the organization

Benefits of BI and Analytics Technology

Okay, for all this effort, what are the benefits of a BI / analytics technology solution? Growing, quantifiable evidence of the value of BI and analytics demonstrates that organizations gain competitive advantage.

Plus they can manage their communities in a more sustainable manner and distribute social, healthcare, and educational services more appropriately. These in turn positively affect process improvements, productivity, and cost savings.

So, is your organization a fumbler or a fact finder?