Data science

Pandemic Driving Analytics Use Globally, Survey Says

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things about the way we work. One of those appears to be our use of analytics, which has increased at 89% of companies recently surveyed by ManageEngine.

Improved decision-making was cited by 64% of survey-takers as the primary reason for using analytics, according to ManageEngine’s survey. Other reasons for expanding analytics tool usage included “to improve the use of available data” (61%) and “to make decisions faster” (56%).

However, the analytics expansion is not evenly distributed around the globe, says ManageEngine, which commissioned Dimensional Research to conduct the survey of 1,200 IT professionals from organizations in the U.S., Canada, India, Singapore, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

For starters, the percentage of executives at North American companies who cited the three reasons for expanded use of analytics (mentioned above) is considerably higher than the global average, points out ManageEngine product manager Ramprakash Ramamoorthy.

When Ramamoorthy dug into the North American data a bit closer, he found a possible reason: “North American respondents are increasing their use of business analytics tools for slightly different reasons than their global counterparts,” he tells Datanami.

“A bit more than a third (35%) of North American respondents cited ‘increased competition’ as a catalyst for increasing their analytics tools whereas, the global average was closer to 40%, and the numbers were even higher in Asian markets,” Ramamoorthy continues “For example, 47% of Singaporeans and 57% of Indians cited increased competition as the catalyst for using more analytics tools. The hyper-competitive markets in Singapore and India could explain the discrepancy.”

Ramamoorthy theorizes that the underlying reason for these differences is that “more companies in North America have been relying on some form of data analytics software for longer periods of time than Asian companies,” he says. “Perhaps, that would help explain the increased usage of analytics software among North American respondents.”

There were also occupational differences, according to the story. For example, in North America, those who reported using more analytics were primarily executives (67%), IT personnel (60%), and marketers (44%), the survey results show. Globally, the top three occupations reporting an increase in analytics usage were IT personnel (63%), followed by executives (47%), and then software developers (38%).

“It’s worth repeating that 77% of North American respondents are using analytics for improved decision-making, which is nearly 13% more than the global average,” Ramamoorthy says. “Moreover, it appears that North American executives in particular are relying on data analytics tools. A whopping 67% of North American execs reportedly increased their usage of business analytics tools—20% more than the global average.”

That 67% figure is quite stunning when compared to executives in other regions, Ramamoorthy says. For comparison, only 41% of Indian executives, 43% of Singaporean executives, 40% of British executives, and 32% of executives in Australia and New Zealand reported an increased use of data analytics tools, he says.

North American marketers are also leading their industry colleagues in other parts of the world in their expansion of analytics tools. Globally, only 36% of marketers reported an expansion in analytics tools during the past two years. Only about a quarter of marketers in Australia increased analytics tool usage.

In a way, this increased reliance on analytics tools is to be expected, Ramamoorthy says.

“With more employees working from home than ever before, security risks are heightened and corporations are realizing that it’s vital to utilize all the data at their disposal–to make better (and faster) business decisions,” he says. “Also, the fact that North American C-level folks are on the front lines of data analysis shows just how important such tools have become during the pandemic era.”

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