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The age of analytics: Competing in a data-driven world

Most enterprises have not yet taken full advantage of analytical marketing. How can they engage more to really benefit from its opportunities for value creation?

Author(s): Nicolaus Henke, Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui, James Manyika, Tamim Saleh, Bill Wiseman, Guru Sethupathy

Publisher: McKinsey Global Institute

Date of publication: 2016

Read this article on the publisher's website [McKinsey]


This recent publication demonstrates that despite a strong interest in data in general, and in analytical marketing in particular, enterprises are nowhere near getting the full potential from them. Furthermore, some sectors of activity such as manufacturing and health are slow in engaging in data analysis. Yet, the tools are now more accessible, even for small enterprises.  For example, 42% of Americans connect to the internet several times a day and 21% are continuously connected! There is thus a huge repository of traces to analyze to better understand the consumer processes and anticipate on their future purchasing decisions.

Why haven’t enterprises taken greater advantage of this data analysis? The authors identify a first major obstacle: clustered organizations. This hinders not only the data collection and analysis, but also the deployment of the recommendations that stem from these analyses. The second obstacle is the lack of analytical talents. Training or recruiting staff takes time. These talents are much sought after and it is difficult to retain them. Finally, data analysts are not sufficient: people capable of transcribing these sophisticated analyses into operational recommendations and decision-making support are also necessary.

This report can act as an electroshock. It demonstrates that enterprises ignore significant pools of value. Investing further in data analysis can provide them with an undisputable competitive advantage.

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