Investment in Analytics NACMSurvey Reveals Data Analytics are Time-Consuming, Yet Critical

Six out of 10 business-to-business (B2B) companies are frustrated by the amount of time it takes to attain meaningful reports and data insights from the data they collect, according to a survey by Data Intensity and Researchscape.

More than one in three, or 36%, of respondents said they invest $100,000-$499,999 annually in current analytics solutions, including systems, people and processes; 26%, $500,000-$999,999; and 20%, $1 million-$9 million. The survey, conducted early in 2015, attempts to gauge the current state of data analytics and states that most companies believe data analysis via a service provider would help address this issue. Other top concerns included inaccurate data, difficulty in using data to make strategic and operations business decisions, and difficulty executing predictive modeling/forecasting with existing data and data models.

Regarding the importance of data, from the perspective of both using and contributing, “as credit managers, we are trying to put all the pieces together to make an informed credit risk decision,” wrote Norman Zusevics, CICP, MBA, credit risk manager for Shure Inc., in the article “Why I’m a Fan of NACM’s National Trade Credit Report” (Business Credit, June 2015). “As an economist, I love to pour through data. … As I often tell colleagues, the data tell the story.” He added that having a few consistently reliable, go-to sources of data helps provide credit professionals with a “pretty clear picture” of a customer.

Survey respondents also were asked about the concept of a cloud-based analytics software and service solution. Twenty-three percent cited the overall idea as excellent and 59% as good. The majority (58%) indicated the solution should include data analysis-as-a-service; data modeling, 47%; business consulting, 43%; dashboard development, 42%; master data management, 36%; mobile data analytics, 34%; merging internal data with external data (industry benchmarks, market demographics, etc.), 30%; system implementations and architecture, 24%; social media data analytics, 24%; or extract, transform, load (ETL) capabilities, 21%.

A majority of respondents deemed an analytics software and service solution beneficial and relevant to their business. Additional results about the cloud-based analytics software and service solution in terms of value, purchase likelihood, delivery model and purchase options include the following:

  • 73% surveyed said they considered the solution to be “very” or “completely different” from others.
  • 70% rated it as “very” or “completely relevant” to their business, along with “very” to “extremely” beneficial to their business.
  • If the price was acceptable, 27% said they were “moderately likely” to purchase it; 45%, “very likely;” and 20%, “completely likely.”
  • 58% preferred the delivery method “create custom analytics solution in the cloud”; 43% chose “transfer your existing analytics solution to the cloud”; and 32% wanted a “packaged SaaS analytics solution in the cloud.”

Courtesy Diana Mota, NACM associate editor