TORONTO—Data analytics are becoming a key component of decision-making strategy for businesses in the digital age, but many Canadian companies are being left behind—something that could be hampering growth.
According to a study conducted by Ernst & Young (EY) and Forbes Insights, only 17 per cent of Canadian companies have a data and advanced analytics strategy that is integrated across their business and used to inform core business decisions, compared to 23 per cent globally.
The study surveyed 1,518 executives from North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
97 per cent of Canadian respondents have some sort of analytics strategy in place. Of those respondents:
- 22 per cent say their strategy only serves specific lines of business.
- 22 per cent say their strategy is established but not fully aligned across the business.
- 32 per cent say their strategy is established and starting to be viewed as a priority.
- only 17 per cent say their strategy is central to their business model.
The study found that leaders in analytics see growth in operating margins and revenues of 15 per cent or more, along with 60 per cent improvements in their risk profile.
Initially used as a process-improvement tool, data and analytics are now being used to inform business initiatives. Companies are using insights pulled from data and advanced analytics to identify fraud, develop new products, learn customer behaviour patterns and provide tailored promotions.
However, many Canadian companies aren’t able to apply analytics at the earliest stages of the business-development process, and they struggle to measure the results of their analytics programs. These are two roadblocks businesses in this country will need to overcome to take full advantage of this technology.
“A majority of Canadian companies have adopted some sort of data and advanced analytics strategy into functions of their business,” said Alex Mohelsky, EY’s Canadian Data and Analytics Leader. “Now, companies need to connect the dots and integrate those strategies enterprise-wide. This will help them leverage insights in core decision-making processes early on.”