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Three insights you might have missed from the ‘Democratizing Analytics Across the Enterprise’ event

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How a company uses data is critical to its competitive advantage. With the business landscape predicted to continue its ever-faster transformation, organizations are investing in analytics solutions to take advantage of data resources.

Seventy-three percent of organizations indicate analytics spend will outpace other software investments in the next 12 to 18 months, according to the Alteryx Inc.-commissioned International Data Corp. Inc.’s newly released InfoBrief: “Four Ways to Unlock Transformative Business Outcomes From Analytics Investments: A Global Survey on the Impacts of People, Data, and Analytics Automation on ROI.” The survey also revealed that returns on investments vary greatly.

The study formed the basis for the “Democratizing Analytics Across the Enterprise” event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. Spanning three in-depth sessions on making the best of such investments, we hear from Alteryx’s Paula Hansen (pictured, left), president and chief revenue officer; Alan Jacobson, chief data and analytics officer; and Jason Klein, product marketing director, as well as eBay Inc.’s Jacqui Van der Leij-Greyling (pictured, right), global head of tax technology. They discussed the insights from the InfoBrief and outlined a framework for how organizations can unlock transformative business outcomes from their analytics. (*Disclosure below.)

In case you missed the “Democratizing Analytics Across the Enterprise” event, here are theCUBE’s top three takeaways from the event:

1) There are four dimensions of enterprise analytics proficiency.

From their evaluation of the survey data, IDC’s research analysts found that organizations that achieve more ROI from their analytics investment have four key attributes in common. These are known as the “Four Dimensions of Enterprise Analytics Proficiency” and were discussed by Klein in the opening session of the event.

“They’ve invested in the comprehensiveness of analytics across all data sources and data types, meaning they’re applying analytics to everything,” he said. “They’ve invested in the flexibility of analytics across deployment scenarios and departments, meaning they’re putting analytics everywhere. They’ve invested in the ubiquity of analytics and insights for every skill level, meaning they’re making analytics for everyone. And they’ve invested in the usability of analytics software, meaning they’re prioritizing easy technology to accelerate analytics democratization.”

This can be summarized as the “four E’s” – making analytics Easy and available to Everyone, Everything, and Everywhere. Organizations can do this by unifying everything across the entire analytics life cycle, solving for use cases everywhere with every type and source of data, ensuring analytics are available to everyone, and making analytics easy to access.

Unfortunately, companies aren’t currently doing this. According to the IDC InfoBrief, only about half of business decisions are made based on analytics. Alteryx’s Analytic Automation platform helps companies fulfill these “four E’s” in a multicloud environment. It was designed to operate in a multicloud world, working across all sizes of data sets to blend, cleanse, shape, analyze and report out, according to Hansen. This enables companies to break down their data silos and drive real business outcomes.

“Analytics, along with automation and AI, is what’s making digital transformation possible. They’re providing the fuel to new digitally enabled lines of business,” Klein stated .

Here’s Klein’s complete video session on “Maximizing Analytics ROI”:

2) Companies that have democratized data and analytics access outperform those that have not.

It’s called the analytics gap, and data from the Alteryx-commissioned IDC InfoBrief makes it very clear: “Among those with improved financial metrics (high ROI performers), 48% are good or great at utilizing analytics skills of their workforce compared to only 36% among those without positive ROI,” the survey reported.

And as more enterprises adopt cloud data warehouses or cloud data lakes to manage increasingly massive data sets, analytics needs to exist everywhere, according to Klein. The survey found that in addition to utilizing the analytics skills of their workforce, 90% of the high-performing organizations used more data types and more data sources than the lower-performing group.

These figures are indicators of a company’s level of analytics maturity or how well it is integrating analytics into its operations across all areas of business. Statistics from the International Institute of Analytics back up the findings of the IDC InfoBrief, showing faster rates of company growth, increased revenue, and higher shareholder value for more analytically mature organizations.

“Across really all of the key measures of business, the more analytically mature companies simply outperformed their competition,” Jacobson stated.

Here’s Jacobson’s complete video session on “Accelerating Analytics Maturity to Win”:

3) Everyone can (and should) become a data scientist.

As companies become data-driven, analytics is becoming part of every job function. Everyone, from marketing interns to the board of directors, is looking for data to help them do their job more efficiently and effectively. And waiting on specialist data scientists to deliver reports with information that is stale before it reaches them doesn’t work.

“Everyone, regardless of skill level, should be able to participate in the data and analytics process and drive value,” Klein stated in his session. However, the results of the survey showed that 93% of participating organizations are not fully using the analytics skills of their employees.

And, as discovered in the key takeaway that “companies who have democratized data and analytics access outperform those who have not,” organizations that align their analytics investments with upskilling enjoy higher ROI than those that don’t.

When the survey respondents with a high return on analytics investment were separated from the lower performers, 78% demonstrated good or great alignment between analytics investments and workforce upskilling. This is the biggest takeaway from the event, and it’s something that Alteryx is working hard to make happen. But working with data can be intimidating, as eBay discovered.

“This is uncharted territory. This is not exactly something that everybody is used to working with every day,” Van der Leij-Greyling said. “How do we get folks to not see ‘data scientist’ as this big thing like a rocket scientist?”

Alteryx believes the answer is to ensure that people feel comfortable, supported, have access to the training that they need, and are given both the skills and the confidence to be able to be a part of this great opportunity of analytics, according to Hansen.

The company offers a no-cost analytics program called SparkED that it developed to close the analytics gap and make sure that the incoming generation of employees is data literate.

“There’s so much opportunity for people, for society and for enterprises when we close the gap and empower more people with the necessary analytic skills to solve all the problems that data can help solve,” Hansen stated.

Here’s Hansen and Van der Leij-Greyling’s complete video session on how Alteryx and eBay are innovating with analytics:

You can also watch the entire “Democratizing Analytics Across the Enterprise” event on-demand below, or visit theCUBE’s exclusive event website:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the “Democratizing Analytics Across the Enterprise” event. Neither Alteryx Inc., the sponsor of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Image: ploy/Getty Images

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