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stages of analytics maturity
Category: Analytics

Analytics Maturity: Why Your Success Depends on It

Today, few organizations would say data isn’t important to their business. In fact, in its 2021 survey, NewVantage Partners found 99% of companies are investing in data analytics initiatives. In a recent Qlik/Accenture study, companies reported 75% of their employees now have access to analytics tools and 87% of employees recognize data in the workplace as an asset. Over the next five years, firms will continue to make big investments in their data tools as the analytics market is predicted to reach $132.9 billion in sales by 2026 (28.9% CAGR).

With such a strong emphasis on data-related projects and analytics technology, you would anticipate most firms are making significant progress in transforming their businesses with data. And yet, NewVantage found only 24% of respondents felt their companies had forged a data culture or had become a data-driven organization.

Shockingly, the vast majority of firms are still struggling to fully embrace data throughout their businesses. After pouring significant amounts of money into various data initiatives, a host of troubling signs reveal most organizations still have a long way to go in their data journeys:

  • 86% of organizations said they are not prepared for the Data Age (Splunk)
  • 79% of employees don’t feel fully confident in their data literacy skills (Qlik/Accenture)
  • 70% don’t have a well-defined data strategy for their company (NewVantage)
  • 67% of CEOs reported ignoring data that contradicted their intuition or experience in the past three years (KPMG)
  • 61% of companies are not managing data as a business asset (NewVantage)
  • 57% of companies fear the volume of data is growing faster than their organization’s ability to keep up (Splunk)

With so many companies struggling to keep pace with the demands of becoming a data-driven organization, where would you say your firm is in its data journey? If you were to discover you’re ahead or behind your competitors, would it matter to your organization? It should. Understanding your maturity level will be important to unlocking the full potential your data can offer today and in the future.

Why is Analytics Maturity Important?

analytics team discussing the value of an analytics maturity assessment

If you’ve worked at different organizations, you may have witnessed or experienced varying degrees of data analytics maturity. You probably noticed how a company’s maturity level directly impacted its performance positively or negatively compared to others you have worked for. Interestingly, after all of the hype around big data over the past several years, most organizations are still fairly immature when it comes to analytics. In its 2019 State of Insights-Driven Business Maturity, Forrester found only 8% of firms were at an advanced level with the rest of the organizations at the beginner (57%) or intermediate levels (35%). When compared with beginner-level firms, advanced insights-driven businesses were:

  • 178% more likely to grow revenues with their insight systems
  • 228% more likely to be good at leveraging insights systems to adapt to customer changes with agility
  • 240% more likely to create sustainable competitive advantage with their insights systems

These statistics highlight a meaningful difference in performance between organizations that are more mature with their analytics than others that are just beginning their data journeys. Whether you feel as though you’re out in front or struggling to keep pace, you’ll need a solid understanding of where you currently are in your journey. Only then can you isolate potential deficiencies and develop a strategic roadmap for improving your data-driven capabilities. To assist you with this important assessment process, Blast Analytics has created a comprehensive but straightforward online analytics maturity model.

Introducing Blast’s Analytics Maturity Assessment (AMA)

team members in an analytics maturity meetingWhen you consider the number of interwoven factors that can impact your progress with analytics, it may be difficult to assess where your company currently stands on the maturity curve. To help you with this challenging evaluation process, Blast Analytics has devised a simple 25-question assessment based on five key maturity categories:

  1. Culture: The shared beliefs, values, and behaviors of your organization when using data to inform decisions.
  2. Capability: To take full advantage of your company’s data, your people will need sufficient data skills and analytics support.
  3. Process: When data is an integral component of your business processes, it reveals how critical it is to your company’ success.
  4. Data: Your organization’s key metrics and dimensions are the lifeblood of your analytics initiatives.
  5. Technology: Analytics tools and platforms form the backbone of what your organization can achieve with its data.

Based on your responses to five questions in each category, you’ll receive an overall score out of 100, which is used to assign your organization to one of four levels: Nascent, Developing, Proficient, or Advanced. Based on your maturity level, you’ll then receive tailored feedback on how to tackle the potential gaps or issues within each category. As more individuals take the data analytics maturity assessment (AMA), we look forward to sharing insights we can glean from different industries, regions, and roles.

evolve with an analytics maturity assessment - take the assessment

Advancing Your Data Analytics Maturity Isn’t Easy, But Necessary

Transforming your organization to embrace and leverage data on a daily basis is a monumental task. It’s not one that is achieved overnight — it takes discipline, focus, and commitment across the entire business. Not surprisingly, in the NewVantage survey, most companies reported human-related challenges as being the biggest impediments to becoming data-driven organizations (92.2%) — not data and technology (7.8%).

Transforming your organization to embrace and leverage data on a daily basis is a monumental task. It’s not one that is achieved overnight — it takes discipline, focus, and commitment across the entire business.

As Gabie Boko, Global Vice President of Digital at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, highlighted, “The biggest problem facing companies who are trying to innovate and transform themselves with data is a culture of ‘we’ve always done it this way.’” Unfortunately, a lot of organizations are finding what worked for many years in the past is no longer effective in today’s fast-paced, digital economy, especially after being challenged by a global pandemic. While some leading organizations may only need to make small adjustments, many companies will need to accelerate their analytics evolution—just to survive.

Regardless of your current situation, Blast Analytics would love to partner with you in your data journey going forward. We firmly believe in data’s power to transform individual companies and entire industries for the better. With years of analytics experience and expertise, we can provide customized, strategic guidance on how to best navigate and manage all the integral elements to becoming a data-driven organization.

Let’s set up a time to discuss how we can take your analytics maturity to the next level today.

Brent Dykes
About the Author

Brent Dykes is the Senior Director of Insights and Data Storytelling at Blast Analytics. He is also the author of Effective Data Storytelling: How to Drive Change with Data, Narrative, and Visuals. Brent has more than 15 years of enterprise analytics experience at Omniture, Adobe, and Domo. His passion for data strategy and data storytelling comes from consulting with many industry leaders including Nike, Microsoft, Sony, and Comcast. He is a regular Forbes contributor and has written more than 35 articles on different data-related topics. In 2016, Brent received the Most Influential Industry Contributor Award from the Digital Analytics Association (DAA). He is a popular speaker at conferences such as Strata, Web Summit, Shop.org, Adtech, Pubcon, RISE, Crunch, and Adobe Summit. Brent holds an MBA from Brigham Young University and a BBA in marketing from Simon Fraser University.

Connect with Brent on LinkedIn. Brent Dykes has written on the Blast Digital Customer Experience and Analytics Blog.

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