APAC organisations must do more to harness analytics potential

Organisations in the Asia-Pacific region still lack the necessary workforce and process capabilities that are required to realise the full benefits of data analytics initiatives, a study finds

While many organisations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region have a data analytics strategy in place, they tend to fall short in other areas that are required to harness the full potential of analytics initiatives.

That was one of the key findings of an IDC study commissioned by Alteryx, which found that 48% of respondents had secured buy-in from key stakeholders on analytics initiatives but only 38% had policies and practices to ensure data integrity.

IDC assessed the maturity of the respondents’ data analytics initiatives based on their responses in four dimensions: strategy, data governance, use of analytics tools by the workforce to improve productivity and process management.

According to the study, a large majority of organisations in the region lacked the necessary workforce (86%) and process capabilities (93%), which are the most crucial for driving data-driven transformation at scale and deriving long-term business value.

It also suggested that enterprises need to build workforce or process-related capabilities to derive business value from data analytics. In their daily roles, executives across the region currently struggle with hard-to-use tools (55%), scattered and unmanaged tools (49%), lack of timely access to data (44%), data lineage and integrity (44%) and lack of data literacy (43%).

These challenges were exacerbated by increased complexity and organisational demands for data analytics to be delivered at greater speed and scale, with the average APAC enterprise currently facing internal requests to include 26 new data sources and 30 new data types per month.

Out of 500 organisations in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore that took part in the study, less than one in five across the region had achieved high analytics maturity – even though over 90% believed data analytics was important to their business.

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Those deemed as analytics experts were more likely to outperform their peers across major business priorities, especially in areas like cost reduction (56%), business model innovation (28%), new product development (17%) and market expansion (12%), the study found.

“Despite the rapid rate of digital transformation and data generation, many organisations in Asia-Pacific are not yet experts in data analytics. They are at the beginner’s stage in their workforce and process dimensions which are critical for empowering employees to do their jobs better, faster and with greater impact,” said Chris Marshall, associate vice-president of APAC at IDC.

“In the face of workforce and process challenges, organisations today can close the gaps with advanced analytics tools. Analytic process automation, in particular, is a low-code solution that has emerged as a way forward to remove friction, enabling analytics capabilities to scale quickly across the entire organisation,” he added.

The research findings also highlighted the potential of a self-service, human-centric analytics automation platform to bridge existing workforce and process capability gaps, address analytics challenges faced by executives, and put organisations on a path to become analytics experts.

Julian Quinn, senior vice-president for Asia-Pacific and Japan at Alteryx, said: “Data should no longer sit idly in an organisation. With the help of analytics automation, an organisation can leverage its best assets – people, processes and data – to empower their workforce to increase overall organisational performance and efficiency so that decision-making is faster and more reliable.”

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