For the last five years, IBM has issued reports on the changing roles of analytics and “big data” in business. In its latest report, “Analytics: A Blueprint for Value,” IBM surveyed 1,000 executives in IT and business from 70 countries. According to online industry magazine, this latest research shows that while “big data” and analytics can drive new revenue and customers, most organizations are dragging their feet.

Here are the top three obstacles organizations need to overcome.

  1. Resistance in the C-suite. Only about 25 percent of CEOs and COOs are analytics advocates, pushing for the use of “big data” insights in their organizations. This lukewarm attitude at the top can keep analytics programs from taking hold. To overcome this obstacle, suggests adding a C-level executive charged with implementing analytics initiatives.
  2. Lack of trust between IT and business departments. To realize the full potential of investing in “big data,” everyone in an organization must be willing to share information and trust the analytics insights that other departments generate. When this flow of information is blocked, it results in duplicated efforts that undermine profitability.
  3. Need for expertise across analytics and business. The IBM report notes that a third of the organizations surveyed lack the capability to translate data analysis into business decisions. This means that individuals who understand both business principles and the technical aspects of analytics are in high demand.

When it comes to analytics, there’s a big difference between organizations that “talk the talk” and those that “walk the walk.” While the promise of “big data” continues to attract enterprises, several significant barriers can prevent organizations from getting the most from analytics initiatives and technology. The first step can be an easy one: try mining your expense reports to determine the true cost of sales.

What obstacles have you seen organizations encounter in trying to develop and implement analytics programs? Please share your opinion in the comments section!


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We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic. Ben Zastrow Zelle