Seventy-eight percent of Australian executives from companies that are applying big data to their businesses said they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the results, according to new research by Accenture.
Similarly, 70 percent of respondents rated big data as “very important” or “extremely important” to their businesses’ digital transformation. Both findings indicate a lag behind the global survey results of 92 percent and 89 percent, respectively.
According to the Accenture Analytics’ Big Success with Big Data Report, Australian organisations use big data extensively or moderately to: identify new sources of revenue (86 percent), retain and acquire customers (80 percent), and develop new products and services (80 percent).
Asked where they expect big data to have the biggest impact on their organisation in the next five years, 66 percent of executives said “changing the way we organise operations,” 62 percent mentioned “customer relationships,” and 52 percent said “product development.”
Despite this, only 58 percent of Australian executives believe big data provides a significant source of value for their organisation, which is significantly behind the global average of 82 percent. Additionally, Australian organisations are far less likely to use big data as a way of remaining competitive (34 percent), compared to 58 percent of global respondents.
“There is a clear disconnect between the confidence Australian leaders have in big data solutions, and the value these solutions can deliver, particularly as organisations look to become more digital,” said Michael Pain, Accenture Analytics lead for Australia, part of Accenture Digital. “There is a direct correlation between leadership support and big data success. So for Australian organisations to drive real business outcomes, there needs to be alignment and investment in big data solutions at both a strategic and operational level.”
Australian executives also highlighted the following challenges when implementing big data in their organisations: budget (the greatest challenge cited by 54 percent); integration with existing systems (48 percent); security (44 percent); and lack of talent to run big data and analytics on an ongoing basis (42 percent).
Recommendations for Big Data Success
For Australian organisations and executives to get the most from their big data projects and help mitigate these challenges, the research report outlines the following key recommendations:
- Operationalise the use of big data platforms, at scale – Don’t just target big data as a new source of information, target core processes such as cross selling or supply chain management for significant improvements via the use of big data platforms.
- Build big data into your customer experience agenda – Big data platforms have the ability to personalise and transform the customer experience and as a result it should be built into innovation agendas.
- Educate and energise the c-suite – C-level executives should take the lead on implementing big data platforms for broader business success. While thirty-six percent of Australian respondents note management and the c-suite extensively understand and support big data initiatives, 50 percent state leadership moderately support the initiatives.
- Build a talent strategy – With talent listed as one of the biggest big data challenges, organisations need to build the big data skills of existing employees through training and development. Fifty percent of executives said their companies have already developed internal technical training opportunities for their employees. Most organisations also tap outside expertise; a mere 10 percent of respondents said their company used only internal resources for their big data implementations.
“Our survey shows that Australian organisations are underestimating the potential of big data and there is considerable opportunity for them to get more value out of their analytics initiatives,” said Pain. “Analytics success takes a strong investment of resources and attention, as well as an understanding that big data implementations can be strategic and highly impactful.”