A Culture of Analysis: Promoting Fact-based Decision Making in the Organization – Research Study of 250 IT Professionals

By Elliot King, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication, Loyola University Maryland & Founder of the Digital Media Laboratory

As business intelligence platforms and tools have become more common, many enterprises have attempted to build a corporate culture based on analysis. The concept is simple. With an appropriate BI infrastructure in place, data analysis would no longer be the sole domain of analysts. Everybody from customer-facing employees to those in the C-level suite can make better decisions based on an analysis of facts.

But how deeply has this new “culture of analysis” and fact-based decision making penetrated most organizations? In a recent research study conducted by the Lattanze Center, a nationally recognized center of excellence on issues related to business excellence and IT at Loyola University Maryland, more than 250 IT professionals were asked to estimate, enterprise-wide, how many people in their organizations use analytic applications to monitor and improve performance and/or identify trends.

As the figure below shows, the number of users of business analytics varies widely with 18 percent of the respondents indicating that 500 or more people in their organizations use analytic tools while 17 percent say only one to nine people in their companies use analytic tools.

The report revealed that analytic tool use is not strictly driven by the size of an enterprise. For example, in companies with more than 1,000 employees, while nearly 30 percent reported that they have more than 500 users of business analytic applications, 25 percent indicated that they have fewer than 25 users of business analytics. Drilling down deeper, however, in companies with 5,000 or more employees, nearly half (48 percent) say that more than 500 people use analytic applications, while another 37 percent indicate that they have 100 to 499 users. Use appears to be driven by two factors—size and corporate culture.

Stay tuned for part five of this series in the November/December 2011 issue of the Noetix Newsletter where we will examine the top benefits companies have realized through their investment in analytic applications.

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