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Report: Execs see analytics programs as more successful than staff does

In this news recap, executives assess analytic success and marketers realign their technology spending priorities.

Top-level executives have a rosier perception of the efficacy and accessibility of data collection and analytics...

programs than do front-line workers, according to a new survey conducted by The Economist.

In the survey, which was sponsored by Teradata, 47% of CEO respondents said they believe all employees have access to the data they need, while only 27% of non-CEO respondents agreed. Furthermore, 53% of CEOs think analytics has made decision making less hierarchical and more objective, while only 36% of other respondents agreed.

CIOs have a particularly positive perception of their organizations' data analytics programs compared to staff. The survey found that only 42% of CIOs feel their company does a poor job of disseminating important business information, while 58% of all other respondents said their company falls flat in this area. The report notes that this may be because CIOs are more aware of how data is captured and assume it goes to the right place.

The findings could signal to some organizations that their analytics initiatives are on thin ice. While support for data-driven decision making from top-level executives is generally considered a crucial element of success, front-line workers still need to be on board. If employees fail to use analytics technology, it could reduce an organization's return on investment. It is also a missed opportunity, as data-driven organizations tend to out-perform more traditional businesses.

Regardless of the respondent, there was agreement that analytics projects are failing to deliver value. Nearly 40% of respondents said converting data into actionable insights is one of their top concerns.

The report recommends increasing employee training, support and communication when businesses implement analytics technology. In addition to executive leadership, these factors can help ensure employees embrace new technology.

Marketers scale back analytics initiatives

One pixelClaudia Imhoff on analytics-driven orgs

In a survey released this week, Salesforce.com announced that marketers expect analytics to play a smaller role in their technology buying plans for 2015 than it did in 2014.

But while few plan to increase their investment in analytics technology, many said it remains a key item in their toolbox.

The 2015 State of Marketing report asked marketers from around the globe to rank the top five technology areas they plan to invest in during the year ahead. The top five responses included:

  • Social media advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Social media engagement
  • Location-based mobile tracking
  • Mobile applications

The findings show a marked departure from last year's report, in which data and analytics was the top spending priority for marketers. Still, respondents in the 2015 survey listed marketing analytics programs as the second-most important technology for creating a cohesive customer experience.

Authors of the report said these findings show that marketers are pulling back from far-reaching, broad campaigns and focusing more on social media. While few marketers will invest in new analytics tools, expect data analytics to continue to play a significant role in the year ahead.

Ed Burns is site editor of SearchBusinessAnalytics. Email him at eburns@techtarget.com and follow him on Twitter: @EdBurnsTT.

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Do your company's executives have an unrealistic perception of the success of your analytics programs?
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It's not surprising to me that the perspectives of execs vs. front-line staff on analytics use would be skewed -- this is true of many topics within an organization (security compliance, use of apps); it's one thing to have a solid grasp of the strategy and even have all the right pieces in place, but how those strategies are executed on and how they impact different workers is a different thing.
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