IBM: Office Politics Stymie Data-Driven Results

While nearly 40% of global enterprises see a return on their data analytics investments within six months of adoption, even more executives say the payback could be better still without internal political interference.

In a survey of nearly 1,000 business and IT executives at top-performing companies across the globe, the IBM Institute for Business Value learned that two thirds of them believed the ROI on data-driven efforts would be greater if key people in their organizations could just get along.

The resulting IBM report, “Analytics: A Blueprint for Value,” asserts that C-level executives must step forward to coalesce the efforts of business units and reap the full return on their data investments. “Organizations need to identify C-suite champions to get fully behind the use of analytics,” says Fred Balboni, global leader of business analytics and optimization at IBM. “Emerging roles like the chief data officer and the chief analytics officer are helping companies build enterprise-wide data strategies.”

Yet only about a quarter of CEOs and COOs act as champions for the use of analytics insights at their companies, even though three quarters of survey respondents cited innovation and revenue growth as the chief value of applying business analytics.

Trust appears to be the missing ingredient in maximizing Big Data’s potential. While 60% of executives said they experienced strong levels of trust with other individuals in their organizations, bonhomie among the silos is still lacking. Only 47% said they trusted IT or other business units.

“There is a trust gap when it comes to lines of business trusting IT and each other in their willingness to share their customer data,” says Cathy Reese, IBM’s business analytics leader. “When individuals work together, they can excel as an organization and get more out of their analytics.”

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