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November 5, 2012

Analytics Driven Business Decisions: Skills, competencies and methods used by survey respondents to transform their business decisions so that they are analytics driven.

By Matt Sarrel

The IBM Institute for Business Value partnered with the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford to conduct the 2012 Big Data @ Work Study, surveying 1,144 business and IT professionals in 95 countries, and interviewing more than two dozen academics, subject matter experts and business executives. This is the third year in a row that IBM has conducted the survey, so it holds some insight into ongoing trends in big data.

While most big data analytics capabilities are focused around query and reporting, data mining, and data visualization, 67% of respondents indicated that they are using big data analytics to build predictive models to help make better informed business decisions.


Many of the organizations engaged in big data analytics programs report that their programs are increasingly adding advanced capabilities to find patterns in the inherent complexity of multiple data sets and structures. In order to accomplish this, respondents are applying optimization models and advanced analytics towards business process improvement. Interestingly, more than 50 percent of active big data efforts are using simulation capabilities to analyze the myriad of variables available in a typical enterprise big data project.

Almost half (47%) of the respondents reported formal, ongoing discussions within their organizations about how to use big data to solve important business challenges. These organizations typically develop a quantifiable business case and a big data blueprint, essentially a roadmap that outlines where to start and how to develop a plan aligned with the organization’s business strategy.

Not surprisingly, making fast and accurate business decisions requires real time and complete data. The ability to transform and operate on real time data is what moves analytics from backwards looking to forwards looking. Real time access to data is becoming increasingly important in making strategic and day-to-day business decisions.

For more insight on how companies are using analytics to shape their futures, join IBM on November 7, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET. For a webinar: Analytics: The real-world use of big data / How innovative enterprises extract value from uncertain data.

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