The Power of Business Analytics

By The Intersect Group

“It’s a fact: Organizations that prioritize business analytics perform better in the market.” Our Center of Excellence page opens with this simple, and yet powerful, sentence. So, what is the business of business analytics exactly?

Here are a handful of definitions, thoughts and beliefs about business analytics that we love:

  • “Tens of millions of connected people, billions of sensors, trillions of transactions now work to create unimaginable amounts of information. An equivalent amount of data is generated by people simply going about their lives, creating what the McKinsey Global Institute calls ‘digital exhaust’ – data given off as a byproduct of other activities such as their Internet browsing and searching or moving around with their smartphone in their pocket.” (Pew Research Center)
  • “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” (Peter Drucker)
  • The main components and ecosystem of big data are characterized as follows:
    • Techniques for analyzing data, such as A/B testing, machine learning and natural language processing
    • Big data technologies, like business intelligence, cloud computing and databases
    • Visualization, such as charts, graphs and other displays of the data (McKinsey & Company)
  • “Terminology comes and goes, but the constant is a data explosion and the need to make sense of it. Big data and AI projects have become virtually indistinguishable, particularly given that machine learning is one of the most popular techniques for dealing with large volumes of fast-moving data. It’s also the case that statistical approaches to AI — deep learning, for example — are increasingly popular. Therefore, we view traditional data analytics, big data, and AI as being on a continuum.” (Harvard Business Review)


Over the years, data output, consumption and analysis has compounded. And while the narrative has sophisticated and grown in importance and scope, the evolution has continued to point in one direction – and that is that businesses must act on and be guided by the data they collect or risk becoming obsolete.

Here is a decade’s worth of big data facts, figures, milestones and viewpoints:

  • 2010: As an industry, in 2010, big data was worth more than $100 billion and was growing at almost 10 percent a year, or about twice as fast as the software business as a whole. (The Economist)
  • 2011: Eight out of ten “Transformed” companies — those with strong, industry-leading analytics capabilities — reported a demonstrable competitive advantage. (IBM-MIT)
  • 2012: About 2.5 exabytes of data are created each day. To put this into context, at the time, it was estimated that Walmart collected more than 2.5 petabytes of data every hour from its customer transactions. A petabyte is one quadrillion bytes, or the equivalent of about 20 million filing cabinets’ worth of text. (Harvard Business Review)
  • 2013: Only four percent of companies said they have the right resources to draw meaningful insights from data—and to act on them. (Bain & Company)
  • 2014: Data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire new customers, six times as likely to retain customers and 19 times more likely to be profitable. (McKinsey & Company)
  • 2015: Topping the list of benefits realized from big data analysis are better strategic decisions (69%), improved control of operational processes (54%), better understanding of customers (52%) and cost reductions (47%). Furthermore, those organizations able to quantify their gains from analyzing big data reported an average eight percent increase in revenues and a 10 percent reduction in costs. (BARC)
  • 2016: Big data has achieved mainstream adoption. 62.5 percent of participating firms in a 2016 survey reported that they now have at least one instance of big data in production. (NewVantage)
  • 2017: Big data adoption reached 53 percent in 2017 for all companies interviewed, up from 17 percent in 2015, with telecom and financial services leading early adopters. (Forbes)
  • 2018: In a 2018 survey, the primary attention has moved to artificial intelligence. Common objectives included better customer service and expense reduction. Just over one-quarter of firms (27%) are pursuing some combination of innovation and disruption, speed to market, or data monetization initiatives. (Harvard Business Review)
  • 2019: 92 percent of respondents in 2019 were increasing their pace of investment in big data and AI. (NewVantage)
  • 2020: Businesses globally are spending close to $40 billion annually on technology and services for data analytics, increasing by 12 percent each year. And yet, in a survey of 64 C-level executives at large corporations, 72 percent said they had yet to forge a data culture, and about half admitted they were not competing effectively on data and analytics. (Harvard Business Review)


While most would agree on the importance of business analytics, the truth is that the majority of organizations are still struggling to turn their data into actionable insights.

The truth is that being a data-driven organization requires more than just great technology and good, quality data. It takes having people and processes that are also data-driven. Unfortunately, the majority of the digital information organizations have access to is under-utilized or being misused altogether.

At The Intersect Group, we are here to change all of that.

In the value proposition of our Business Analytics Center of Excellence, we commit to providing our clients with:

  • Expertise and insights
  • Data and information to help make more informed decisions on hiring needs
  • Better qualified candidates through requirements gathering, consultation, and analysis
  • Market insights and dynamics, including supply, demand and pricing
  • Targeted, proactive recruiting including pre-screened, validated candidates

If you are ready to have a data-driven conversation about your talent acquisition, let’s talk.