Jan 08 2020

Data Analytics Is Living Up to the Hype

With more information available than ever before, being able to properly understand it is critical.

It would be unusual to read a business-oriented article, magazine or website these days without seeing the word “data.” Talk of Big Data and analytics has exploded in recent years, with nearly every industry and organization jumping into the conversation. 

Market researcher IDC forecasts that worldwide revenue from data analytics and business analytics will reach over $189 billion this year, a 13 percent increase over 2018’s revenue. By 2022, they say, that number will be more than $247 billion.

To keep up with the increasing demand for analytics, more colleges and universities are adding programs. There are now more than 600 higher education programs focused on data science, including professional certificate programs, bachelor’s programs and master’s programs. With more analytics jobs being created every day (and a growing workforce to fill them) organizations that don’t have recourses dedicated to data science risk being left behind.

Revenue Jumps When Businesses Are Data-Driven

Results show that data analytics isn’t just a buzzy topic in the business world; it’s adding exponential value to organizations. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers. Once those customers are in the door, those companies are six times more likely to keep them coming back.

Those extra customers translate into big revenue. Organizations that use data are 19 times more likely to be profitable than those that don’t, according to that same McKinsey research, while Entrepreneur reports that businesses that use data reduce costs by 10 percent

Executives have taken notice. According to Forbes, 79 percent of enterprise executives say that not embracing data will lead to their extinction, while 83 percent are using analytics to gain a competitive edge.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Read how small businesses can make the most of data analytics.

How Businesses Can Take Advantage of Data

Despite the clear benefits of using data science, organizations are still struggling to make the most of it. Only about 12 percent of the data available is analyzed, according to Big Data Made Simple, while 95 percent of businesses say they need to manage unstructured data. Many have turned to various tools to help bridge this gap, with 64 percent of leaders saying that self-service business intelligence gives them a competitive advantage

The barrier to entry for using analytics has been lowered as data popularity has grown, and organizations looking to optimize their data will want a service that puts it all in one place. Products such as Microsoft Power BI, IBM Watson and Splunk all help streamline the process for businesses looking for insights in the numbers.

With more than 150 trillion gigabytes of data needing analysis by 2025, a heavier importance will be placed on being able to make sense of it all. Platforms to help visualize information, like Tableau, will be critical in revealing business insights. For organizations with limited resources, there are even free services available to get started, like Google Analytics. 

The numbers make it clear: Any business that wants to optimize its resources and streamline efficiency should be using data analytics. And with services more accessible than ever before, now’s the time to start.

Chainarong Prasertthai/Getty Images

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