For enterprise organizations seeking success and longevity, the role of data and analytics in business transformation has never been clearer. Where are most when it comes to using analytics to inform and inspire action? Where should organizations be focusing investments? Here are 17 statistics showcasing the current and future role of data:

  1. 85% of enterprise decision makers surveyed feel they have a timeframe of just two years to make significant inroads on their digital transformation before suffering financially and/or falling behind their competitors. – Progress Are Businesses Really Digitally Transforming or Living in Digital Denial Report
  2. 94% of enterprise decision makers say analytics are important (45%) or critical (49%) to their digital transformation efforts. - Progress Are Businesses Really Digitally Transforming or Living in Digital Denial Report
  3. Insights-driven businesses are growing at an average of more than 30% each year, and by 2021, are predicted to take $1.8 trillion annually from their less-informed peers. – Forrester Insights-Driven Businesses Set the Pace for Global Growth Report
  4. Data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result. - McKinsey Global Institute
  5. 58% of marketing executives are using data to find new customers, while 55% use analytics to grow the number of leads they generate. – Dun & Bradstreet/Forbes Insights 2017 Enterprise Analytics Study
  6. In 2018, two-thirds of firms will create customer insight centers of excellence. – Forrester Predictions 2018: AI Hard Fact – Treat It Like a Plug-And-Play Panacea and Fail
  7. In a survey of more than 300 executives across a variety of industries, 71% of respondents said that 50% or more of their business decisions now include analytics. – Dun & Bradstreet/Forbes Insights 2017 Enterprise Analytics Study
  8. 63% in the finance function said they are using data and analytics to find new opportunities to fund business growth. – Dun & Bradstreet/Forbes Insights 2017 Enterprise Analytics Study
  9. 60% of finance executives say they use data to help drive long-term strategic planning. – Dun & Bradstreet/Forbes Insights 2017 Enterprise Analytics Study
  10. Only 38% of executives strongly feel that their business leaders are currently taking full advantage of their analytics initiatives. – Dun & Bradstreet/Forbes Insights 2017 Enterprise Analytics Study
  11. 27% cite a skills gap as a major impediment to their data initiatives. – Dun & Bradstreet/Forbes Insights 2017 Enterprise Analytics Study
  12. By 2020, there will be 2.7 million job postings for data science and analytics roles. – BHEF and PwC America’s Data Science and Analytics Talent: The Case for Action Report
  13. By 2020, 59% of employers say data science and analytics skills will be required of all finance and accounting managers; 51% say these skills will be required by all marketing and sales managers; 49% say they will be required of all executive leaders; and 48% say they will be required of all operations managers. – BHEF and PwC America’s Data Science and Analytics Talent: The Case for Action Report
  14. In the coming year, 69% of companies plan to increase their use of cloud BI, and more than one quarter of companies that haven’t implemented cloud BI say they will do so. - BARC Research and Eckerson Group Study, BI and Data Management in the Cloud: Issues and Trends 2017
  15. In 2018, a quarter of firms will supplement point-and-click analytics with conversational user interfaces, and AI will make decisions and provide real-time instructions at 20% of firms. - Forrester Predictions 2018: AI Hard Fact – Treat It Like a Plug-And-Play Panacea and Fail
  16. 57% of executives say IoT-related analytics will be valuable to their organizations in the next 12 months. – Dun & Bradstreet/Forbes Insights 2017 Enterprise Analytics Study
  17. Around 29 billion connected devices are forecast by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to IoT. - Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2017

From augmented analytics, to voice and sensor-generated data, to an enterprise-wide need for data science and analytics skills, the role that data and analytics will play in digital transformation initiatives is only set to grow, along with the divide between leaders and laggards.

Organizations focusing their 2020 (or 2030) vision should ensure that they have built or are building a data-driven culture set to take full advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies from AI to IoT. Author, entrepreneur and successful CEO John Sculley said it best: “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”