Data analytics potential being hindered by skills shortage

The promise of data analytics is finally taking centre stage.

The majority of organisations are now deploying the technology to enhance customer experiences and mitigate risk. It is quickly becoming — as many predicted — essential in driving digital transformation for enterprises.

However, the skills shortage facing industries — particularly in the technology space — is hindering the potential of data analytics, according to research released today from Infosys.

The survey assesses enterprise expectations in a world of endless possibilities with data, while exploring a range of challenges, opportunities and the role of new technologies in the analytics world.

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Opportunities and challenges

Functions across the whole organisation are benefiting from the possibilities of data.

Finance and accounting was found to use analytics the most, followed by marketing and operations.

In terms of emerging technologies, artificial intelligence was perceived to deliver increased outcomes when combined with analytics followed by IoT and cloud technologies.

However, the research found that enterprises in every industry encountered several challenges that prevented them from implementing their analytics initiatives fully.

The biggest challenges stemmed from a lack of expertise in integrating multiple datasets and failure of understanding in deploying the right analysis techniques. This is where enterprises are looking up to their partners to help industrialise their analytics capabilities by creating an analytics strategy, build an operational framework and define a process for executing and governing analytics initiatives.

“In the world of endless possibilities that data provides, being data native is core for enterprises [wanting to embrace] digital,” said Satish H.C., EVP and Head, Data Analytics, Infosys. “As enterprises work with limitations of siloed systems, data integration issues, resources and skills, harnessing the possibilities with data will be essential [in navigating digital transformation]. We believe that the findings of this survey will help our clients to fast-track their journey into a data-native enterprise by industrialising their analytics capabilities and ultimately monetise data.”

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Research highlights

• 31% of respondents identified the use of analytics with experience enhancement. This includes using intelligence generated by listening to internal and external stakeholders to drive extreme personalisation and high quality customer service.
• 28% respondents were interested in leveraging analytics for risk mitigation – predicting risk to enable better decision making, and detecting anomalies that could disrupt business effectiveness.
• Developing new business models by unearthing the latent needs of customers and offering innovative products and services was seen as the primary analytics requirement of 23% of respondents.
Revenue and profit maximisation through increasing channel effectiveness and thereby enhancing profitability across processes, channels and stakeholder ecosystems was the analytics priority for the remaining 18%.
The majority of respondents in the US (32%) and Europe (34%) stated they would like to use analytics for experience enhancement, whereas in ANZ about 31% respondents consider it for risk mitigation.

The UK’s data analytics journey

Of the 1,062 senior business and technology executives interviewed as part of this research, 186 were based in the UK.

UK respondents identified three key areas of success driven by data analytics: experience enhancement, risk mitigation and innovating new business models.

In terms of business function leveraging data analytics, those in the UK reported increased adoption from the Telecom, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Life Sciences, and CPG, Retail and Logistics industries.

In terms of challenges faced specifically by UK-based organisations, respondents noted that integrating multiple datasets across sources and ensuring data hygiene were the most significant, in contrast with the global research group.

In order to overcome these challenges, UK-based respondents cited selecting the right analytics tools/technologies and the right people with appropriate skillsets as important aspects.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...