Businesses fight downturn with data analytics investment

Businesses are responding to the downturn by stepping up their investment in data analytics technology, claims business advisory firm Deloitte.

Businesses are stepping up their investment in data analytics technology in the downturn, claims business advisor Deloitte.

Deloitte says it has seen an upturn in interest in data analytics as companies make the most of data they collect.

“They are coming up with some great ideas about how they want to use data,” said Carl Bates, partner in Deloitte’s integration practice, in an interview with Computer Weekly.

Companies are creating chief data management officer positions at board-level to ensure they exploit data across their organisations. The demands of regulatory requirements and the need for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, are driving the growth of analytics technology, said Bates.

And faced with tighter budgets, businesses are turning to analytics to develop business cases, using hard facts to ensure they are investing limited resources in the right areas.

“Data analytics is one of the areas that has come through the recession better than other areas,” Bates said.

But like cloud computing two years ago, businesses are only beginning to get to grips with how they can use analytics to benefit the bottom line.

Companies can benefit when they take an enterprise-wide view of data, which is often used in limited ways by different parts of the business, Bates said.

“Whether you use enterprise data to better target your customer, understand fraud or meet regulatory requirements, it’s the same data. Its quite often by taking an enterprise view that you start receiving efficiencies,” he said.

Organisations can reap further benefits from analytics when they combine analysis of internal data and external data, such as customers' comments on Twitter.

“What organisations have traditionally not done well is looked at unstructured data, what customers have actually said,” said Bates.

Deloitte suggests CIOs should build bridges between IT and the rest of the business, to help organisations use analytics technology more effectively.

“The advice for the CIO is to ensure they have a good view of the business problems and the issues they are trying to solve, and to make sure analytics is applied in an intelligent way to deal with those challenges.”

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