Investments in analytical tools pay off, Accenture says

A survey by Accenture found that companies that invest in analytics software tools perform better.

Enterprises are increasingly investing in analytics technologies, such as customer relationship management, data warehousing and business intelligence software, and investments in these technologies are paying off, according to new market research released Monday by Accenture.

Respondents to a survey conducted by Accenture said that better management decision-making is the most important objective in implementing new business software platforms.

Successful companies are five times more likely to cite analytics as a key element of their business strategy, according to Accenture. These companies, compared to lower-performing ones, also have more sophisticated analytical technologies, value analytical insights more and have better analytics than their competition. The low-performing companies were less likely to have BI (business intelligence) or data warehousing modules than the better performers.

Overall, the most frequently deployed analytical and reporting tools implemented by the companies that responded to the survey were data warehousing, reporting software and BI software.

Accenture surveyed more than 700 executives and chief information officers (CIOs) from 371 companies in 35 countries and compared their answers to a similar survey done in 2002.

At the time of the original report, 55 percent of respondents had some analytical capabilities and 19 percent had significant analytical capabilities that came from integrated enterprise system information. By this year, 74 percent of the companies had some analytical capabilities and 33 percent had the more significant capabilities.

The companies also plan to implement more enterprise software in the coming years, with the top three types of software being analytical intensive applications, according to the survey.

In the next two years, 35 percent of respondents said that they'll deploy CRM (customer relationship management) products, 29 percent said they plan to implement BI or data warehouse software and 28 percent said that they want to begin using SRM (supplier relationship management) systems.

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