Big Data: The organizational challenge

Big Data is hard to miss these days. Industry analysts and media observers hype it as the next big thing for every enterprise, and many companies have been rushing to climb on board. But is building an advanced analytics capability really worth the investment? Until now, data to answer that question has been scarce.
A recent Bain & Company study, however, should put the question to rest. Early adopters of Big Data analytics have gained a significant lead over the rest of the corporate world. Examining more than 400 large companies, we found that those with the most advanced analytics capabilities are outperforming competitors by wide margins. The leaders are:
  • Twice as likely to be in the top quartile of financial performance within their industries
  • Five times as likely to make decisions much faster than market peers
  • Three times as likely to execute decisions as intended
  • Twice as likely to use data very frequently when making decisions
Companies with the best analytic capabilities outperform the competition.
1. ~2x more likely to be top-quartile financial performers
Likelihood of top-quartile financial performance
  • Bottom feeders
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Top performes
3. ~3x more likely to be “highly effective” at executing decisions
Likelihood of being “highly effective” at execution
  • Bottom feeders
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Top performes
2. ~5x more likely to make decisions “much faster”
Likelihood of making decisions “much faster”
  • Bottom feeders
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Top performes
4. ~2x more likely to use data to make decisions “very frequently”
Likelihood of using data “very frequently”
  • Bottom feeders
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Top performes
Likelihood -- Average
Source: Bain Big Data Diagnostic survey; n=409
This helps to explain why so many companies are now asking where they stand on Big Data vis-à-vis their rivals— and whether they’re missing out on a new and essential competitive tool.