Analytics: Executives love their Excel spreadsheets according to Deloitte

A study published on July 25 by Deloitte tends to prove that managers are not comfortable with analytical platforms. They are still fond of Excel spreadsheets and charts.

Companies are accumulating huge volumes of data: black gold just waiting to be tapped. To do this, companies are developing solutions based on Analytics and AI. Qlik, Tableau, SAS or Google with BigQuery are some of the firms that are striving to facilitate data analysis in a professional context.

Only, you see, not everyone is at the same level of adoption. Some people prefer good old-fashioned PowerPoint presentations combined with Excel spreadsheets. That’s what a Deloitte study from April published on July 25 reveals. Of 1,048 executives surveyed from large companies (more than 500 employees), 62% still rely heavily on spreadsheets.. Moreover, 58% of them use classic Business Intelligence software such as Power BI or IBM Cognos.

Analytics: companies are focusing on structured data

So it’s not about die-hard Gauls who are afraid that the sky will fall on their heads. On the contrary, 76% of people say they have become more mature in their analytical skills over the past year. In addition, 67% of respondents already use advanced tools such as SAS, the R language, or Python.

AI is therefore in the process of being adopted. No less than 56% of leaders see it as an important initiative in the coming years.

However, the reports of 64% of the companies surveyed rely on structured data from internal systems. Only 18% benefit from the analysis of images, audio files or comments on social networks. This unstructured information is much harder to put into columns, but the Deloitte team is right when they write that cloud infrastructures, storage environments, and open source frameworks like Hadoop make it much easier to analyze.

Another problem hinders the adoption of analytics in companies: the silo culture. Nearly 60% of companies that embrace this approach achieved their targets last year. Conversely, 80% of those that deploy common tools and methods to make the most of their data (26% of those surveyed) met their goals in 2018. “The lack of a single strategy for identifying opportunities is a barrier to effectiveness,” write the study.

Partly a cultural problem

There is therefore a strong correlation between the deployment of analytics and corporate culture.

Tom Davenport, one of the authors of the report, says:

Organizations need to adopt a diversity of roles and skills. Instead of relying on siloed teams of experts, companies would do well to cultivate a wide variety of people who are curious, numerate and able to bridge analytical/data science methods with business requirements. This could be called the ‘democratization of data science’.

According to Deloitte, this heterogeneous approach to data science has distinctly beneficial effects. “Dn companies where senior managers report that all employees received analytical training, 88% exceeded targets, compared to 61% of companies where only some employees received similar training.”.

At the time of this study, 37% of executives consider their companies to be sufficiently mature in this area. Ten percent of them see their organization as “a champion of analytics”. The majority (63%) say they are aware of analytics, but lack the technical means and work in silos. Culture and technology: without one without the other, the development of Big Data in business is meaningless. For the time being, the snake is still biting its tail.

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