November 11, 2010, 5:40 PM — Business analytics is atop most companies' apps wish lists. The business goal, of course, is to make sense of the enormous amount of data and information housed in their servers--and stop making critical decisions from the gut.
"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," notes a new study by IBM's Institute for Business Value and MIT Sloan Management Review.
"The adoption barriers organizations face most are related to management and culture rather than being related to data and technology," states the IBM/MIT study, which surveyed nearly 3,000 executives and business analysts from 108 countries and 30 industries.
Here are the top obstacles to widespread corporate adoption and use of analytics (up to three answers were accepted):
* 38% Lack of understanding of how to use analytics to improve the business
* 34% Lack of bandwidth due to competing priorities
* 28% Lack of skills internally in the line of business
* 23% Existing culture does not encourage sharing information
Surprisingly, the study pointed out that "getting the data right" (a.k.a. "data quality" and "one version of the truth") was near the bottom of the barriers to adoption list: Approximately one in five of the respondents cited concern over data quality or ineffective data governance as a primary obstacle to adoption.
"Organizations that use analytics to tackle their biggest challenges are able to overcome seemingly intractable cultural challenges and, at the same time, refine their data and governance approaches," notes the study.
Even given those hurdles, respondents in the study said that they remain bullish on information analytics and how it will help their companies make better and faster decisions.