Converting big data and analytics insights into results

In today’s competitive marketplace, executive leaders are racing to convert data-driven insights into meaningful results. Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organizations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. These are among the key findings from the 2013 IBM Institute for Business Value research study on how organizations around the globe are leveraging key capabilities to amplify their ability to create value from big data and analytics.

The IBM Institute for Business Value has researched the field of analytics at ever-increasing levels of granularity since 2009. Our research, combined with the on-the-ground experience of thousands of consultants, continues to probe deeper into the fundamental question: How can organizations achieve positive returns on their analytic investments by taking advantage of the growing amounts of data?

We’ve determined it takes the right alignment of strategy, technology and organizational structure. Analytic implementation

strategies need to enable an organization’s most important business objectives; the technology in place needs to support the analytics strategy; and the organization’s culture needs to evolve so people use the technology to take action in line with the strategy. The proper alignment of these three key dimensions is needed to create tangible value and results-based outcomes. To discover how to achieve this alignment of strategy, technology and structure, we surveyed 900 business and IT executives from 70 countries. We asked   more than 50 questions to an analytics-savvy group of executives, senior managers and managers, along with analytics experts, business and data analysts, and others within organizations large and small. The questions were designed to reveal how to translate high-level concepts associated with delivering exceptional business value through analytics into actions that can truly deliver value. (For more details, please see sidebar: About the research.)

Through our research, we identified nine levers that enable organizations to create value from an ever-growing volume of data from a variety of sources – value that results from insights derived and actions taken at every level of the organization.

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