Analytics: The New Path to Value

A recent report from IBM, Analytics: The New Path to Value, highlights how successful organizations have implemented the use of analytics into their organization. The report partners with the MIT Sloan institute to provide an insightful take on analytics, and how the structured use of data can open up new insights and drive stronger decision-making for organizations.

The report states:

“The combination of an increasingly complex world, the vast proliferation of data, and the pressing need to stay one step ahead of the competition has sharpened focus on using analytics within organizations. To better understand how organizations are applying analytics today, prioritizing their future investments, and transforming insights into action, MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with the IBM Institute for Business Value, surveyed a global sample of nearly 3,000 executive managers and analysts. Based on our analysis of survey results, combined with interviews with academic and subject matter experts, this study offers recommendations on how organizations can bolster their analytics capabilities to achieve long-term advantage.”

One of the interesting sections in the guide was the development of “three levels of capabilities” of analytics for organizations. The three levels defined are highlighted below:


The report states, “These organizations are the farthest from achieving their desired analytical goals. Often they are focusing on efficiency or automation of existing processes, and searching for ways to cut costs. Aspirational organizations currently have few of the necessary building blocks – people, processes or tools – to collect, understand, incorporate or act on analytic insights.” For many agencies, this is where they fall. Agencies understand there is enormous potential to derive value from analytics and improve decision making, but do not have the resources (labor/time) to invest in analytics.


Experienced analytics users are defined as, “Having gained some analytic experience – often through successes with efficiencies at the Aspirational phase
– these organizations are looking to go beyond cost management. Experienced organizations are developing better ways to effectively collect incorporate and act on analytics so they can begin to optimize their organizations.” During this stage, users have identified the kinds of data and analytics needed, collaborating across their agency and beginning to make decisions using data.


Finally, a transformed agency is defined as, “These organizations have substantial experience using analytics across a broad range of functions. They use analytics as a competitive differentiator and are already adept at organizing people, processes and tools to optimize and differentiate. Transformed organizations are less focused on cutting costs than Aspirational and Experienced organizations, possibly having already automated their operations through effective use of insights. They are most focused on driving customer profitability and making targeted investments in niche analytics as they keep pushing the organizational envelope.” These are the agencies pushing the envelope and using analytics to help understand complex problems and find solutions.

The chart above is a fantastic overview of how government agencies are using data, and if the agency may be aspirational, experienced or transformed. The report also provides some great tips and best practices on how to improve data use.

Where do you believe most government agencies rest? How can agencies more from aspirational to transformed?

The IBM Analytics Solution Center (ASC) is part of a network of global analytics centers that provides clients with the analytics expertise to help them solve their toughest business problems. Check out their Analytics to Outcomes group on GovLoop.

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