Advanced analytics strategies drives revenue growth: Survey

SINGAPORE - Companies with well-established analytics strategies saw a double-digit revenue growth, according to a survey by Forbes Insights, in collaboration with consultancy EY.

The poll, involving 1,500 global executives including 73 from Singapore, found that nearly two-thirds of firms with such strategies reported operating margins and revenues of 15 per cent more in 2016. Six in ten of the companies also improved their risk profiles.

The report Data & Advanced Analytics: High Stakes, High Rewards, indicated that more that half of those polled plan to invest at least US$10 million (S$14.1 million) in data and advanced analystics over the next two years.

This comes as traditional process-driven organizations are now being disrupted by the new era of businesses that use data as a strategic asset, EY noted,

"Companies have moved from pilot projects that originated in business units or countries to using data and advanced analytics at an enterprise level to rethink and reimagine their entire business to identify new opportunities," said Mr Manik Bhandari, EY Asean analytics leader at Ernst & Young Advisory.

Mr Bhandari noted that Singapore is also racing to grow its analytics capacity for the digital economy with significant investments on the Government's part to improve market access and connectivity, human capital, infrastructure, data security regulations and intellectual property.

This will present opportunities for Singapore firms to grow their analystics capabilities, particularly for certain sectors with "advanced data capturing systems such as health care, transport and security services".

However, more work needs to done to implement the analytics strategy across all functions in an organisation.

Among the Singapore respondents, the survey found that only 4 per cent of firms have achieved an enterprise-wide analytics strategy, where it is well-established and central to the overall business strategy.

"In many sectors, analytics maturity tends to be unbalanced across the organization. For example, in financial services institutions, retail banking services often lead in the use of customer analytics while regulatory services could be lagging in analytic capabilities that are focused on anti-money laundering," said Mr Bhandari.

The survey found that 44 per cent of Singapore respondents felt there was still a lack of collaboration between IT, the data and analytics team and the business team, while 47 per cent of them saw the lack of people with analytics skillsets as a challenge when designing data analystics initaitives.

Mr Bhandari added: "This digital capability gap may not be a perennial challenge if organizations are able to shift their mindsets to think globally and effectively use talent pools in different locations through leveraging technologies in connectivity and cloud."

This report is based on a survey of 1,518 executives across a range of industries conducted in August and September 2016.

Respondents are C-level executives, of whom 25 per cent are chief executives or presidents of their organisations.

The executives' companies had at least US$500 million in annual revenues.

Correction note: The headline has been edited to correct the spelling of analytics. We are sorry for the error.