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Being Data-driven is Good, But This is Even Better…

In the 2018 Global State of Enterprise Analytics Report, 90% of analytics and BI professionals surveyed said data and analytics are important to their digital transformation efforts. In a recent webcast, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Boris Evelson noted that being data-driven alone won’t hasten progress on digital transformation efforts, however—there’s a next level that will make all the difference.

“Most mid-sized to large-sized enterprises have already become data-driven,” notes Evelson in the webcast. “All of them have some type of a data management infrastructure. They all create some kind of analytical derived data sources like data warehouses, data marts, data lakes; and on top of these, they have BI platforms and are getting a lot of signals from data.” But the question is this: are organizations transforming these signals into actions—and are these actions driving tangible business outcomes?

(Still) Drowning in Data, Starving for Insight

According to Forrester’s Business TechnographicsⓇ Global Data and Analytics Survey, the number of companies storing more than 100TB of data almost doubled in 2017 from 31% in 2016 to 59% in 2017. Yet the amount of data being used to improve business outcomes remains unchanged. “We still have a long, long way to go,” notes Evelson, as currently, only “somewhere between 10% and 20% of all of your data—structured and unstructured, internal and external—is being used for analytics and insights.”

Relays Evelson, even though the quote “we are drowning in data and starving for insight” is more than ten years old now, Forrester still hears this from many of its clients.

Becoming Insights-driven

Evelson advises that enterprise organizations need to evolve from their current state of BI to systems of insight—from being simply data-driven to becoming insights-driven. Systems of insight (SOI) power insights-driven businesses and bring together systems of engagement that touch people, systems of automation that connect the physical world, and systems of record that host processes.

While both BI and systems of insight require agility, BI as a stand-alone application sends signals from data, but doesn’t initiate any next steps because it’s not “aware.” By embedding BI into all of an organization's everyday transactional applications and processes (CRM, ERP, etc.), it becomes contextual to know who you are and what you’re doing. It makes insights actionable. It becomes pervasive within and organization—and then self-learning and continuously improving through automation—a system of insight.

Time to Evolve

Forrester and other research agencies predict that insights-driven businesses will grow eight to ten times faster than the global economy. Currently, these organizations are growing at an average of more than 30% annually, and are on track to earn $1.8 trillion by 2021 (click to tweet).

“You cannot afford to be on the losing side of this picture,” warns Evelson.

Want to learn more on how to evolve from a data-driven to an insights-driven organization, along with the five characteristics that set insights-driven organizations apart? Watch the complete webcast on-demand.

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