Analytics moving from customer to operations for competitive advantage

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The move to get one over on the competition means organisations are increasingly moving towards the back end instead of customer facing roles for their analytics, argues Capgemini – but there is still a long way to go before universal business benefits are realised.

The findings appear in a study from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, which focuses on a survey of 600 operations executives across three continents.

The study puts organisations into four categories in terms of how their analytics initiatives were integrated with core operations processes. Game changers, those who have integrated most and seen tangible benefits from it, numbered 18% of organisations, while laggards, those furthest behind and are primarily at the proof of concept stage, total 41%, with optimisers (21%) and strugglers (20%) in the middle.

In the main, European companies are struggling compared to their US counterparts, but for US firms, it is also about getting to the next stage. 50% of US firms polled say they have successfully realised the benefits of operational analytics, which contrasts significantly with China, for whom only 23% have seen ROI despite greater implementation than the US.

Jerome Buvat, head of Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, argues despite these results it is still very early days across the board. “We have only scratched the surface of operational analytics,” he said. “More elements of the demand chain, from the factory floor to the products sold to customers, are becoming connected and are producing data. Cognitive computing is helping organisations to make sense of all of this data, while machine learning and artificial intelligence is enabling increasingly complex decision making and operational optimisation.

“Few organisations are well set up to take advantage of these technology developments; those that aren’t need to work out now how they catch up or face diminishing competitiveness,” Buvat added.

Capgemini argues there are three key tenets the ‘game changers’ have employed to keep ahead of the competition: an integrated data approach; the use of a wide variety of data; and making analytics an essential component of the decision making process.

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