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Has Progress on Data, Analytics, and AI Stalled at Your Company?

Responses to the recently released 2023 survey of Fortune 1000 and global data and business leaders show that data, analytics, and AI efforts have stalled — or even gone backwards!

Many thanks to Randy Bean for both the survey and the analysis.

Given the massive investments in data technologies and skills over recent years, this is shocking.

Leaders need to rethink how they’re investing in data, analytics, and AI — and whether these investments are creating real business value. 87.8% of executives reported that their companies had increased investments in data, analytics, and AI during 2022, and 83.9% expected this investment trend to continue in 2023.

BUT 91.9% of respondents said that this investment is not moving the needle on key metrics of organizational transformation.

The 2023 survey also finds:

  • Just 59.5% of executives are driving business innovation with data, compared to 59.5% four years ago — no change.
  • 40.8% of executives are competing on data and analytics, a decrease(!) from 47.6% four years ago.
  • 39.5% of executives are managing data as a business asset, a decline from 46.9% four years ago.
  • Just 23.9% — under one quarter — report that their companies have created a data-driven organization, down from 31% four years ago.
  • A meagre 20.6% of executives — barely one in five — reported that a data culture had been established within their companies, a nearly 50% decrease from 2019.

Regression, not progress.

Data driven decision making has not advanced with expectations!

The report offers four recommendations:

  1. Focus on Business Impact and culture change. Since culture is a lot about “WHY” and “WIIFM” (“What’s in it for me?”), a focus on delivering meaningful business outcomes at speed will oil the wheels of culture change!
  2. Start Small. Focus on business outcome NOT the technology. ALWAYS focus on “Pareto outcomes” where 80% or more of the business value is delivered with 20% or less of the effort, cycle time and cost.
  3. Build a strong stakeholder coalition of business partners and sponsors. This goes hand in hand with delivering meaningful business outcomes at speed.
  4. Pay attention to data ethics – establishing policies and practices to ensure the ethical use of data, especially as our capabilities get more sophisticated and options expand!

The clarion call “Instead of Boiling the Ocean, Start Small” resonates very much with my own experience and that of our clients.

Too many companies undertake massive technology infrastructure investments intended to improve access to data — data warehousing, master data management, cloud migration — that often fail to deliver meaningful business value in the short to medium term.

Successful leaders focus on the business, communicate in clear, concise, simple, and outcome-oriented language AND  deliver business results, successful outcomes, and customer satisfaction at speed, consistently.

Randy Bean is both the author of the survey and this fascinating synopsis of the current “state of the nation” narrative. You can read it here . . .

You can also get the full survey results here . . .

This a timely read given the ever greater focus that data, analytics and AI is receiving in wake of recent technology announcements, ChatGPT et al.

Thanks for reading . . .