The search for competitive advantage has driven organisations to shift the focus of their analytical efforts away from customer facing processes to back office operations over the last three years, according to new research from Capgemini.
The survey found that over two-thirds of operations executives at large organisations around the world now prioritise operational analytics initiatives rather than consumer-focused processes.
However, broad deployments remain limited and success even more so, with only 18% having both implemented analytics widely across operations, integrated them with their business processes and realised the anticitipated benefits from their analytics initiatives.
A further 21% have realised early benefits from their analytics initiatives in a limited number of areas within their operations but have not yet scaled up to more complex initiatives.
Of the countries surveyed, the UK is the furthest ahead in implementing operational analytics thanks to C-level backing and an advanced use of data. But initial momentum for analytics in operations does not guarantee that UK businesses will fully realise the benefits, the analysts warn.
'Organisations are pivoting towards operational analytics as it can both increase the efficiency and performance of the back office as well as boost the customer experience in the front office,'said Anne-Laure Thieullent, Head of Big Data in Europe, for Capgemini’s Insights & Data global practice.
'However, despite the focus, there are factors limiting the success of these projects; specifically siloed datasets, fragile governance models, inability to harness third party data sources, and an absence of a strong mandate from leadership teams.'
Leaders in operations analytics are integrating datasets across their organisations to gain a holistic view of operations. They enhance the quality and scope of their operations data by using a wide variety of external and unstructured data, and make analytics an essential component of their decision making.
'We have only scratched the surface of operational analytics. More elements of the demand chain, from the factory floor to the products sold to customers, are becoming connected and are producing data,' said Jerome Buvat, Head of Capgemini Consulting’s Digital Transformation Institute.
'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.'