EMEA lags behind other regions in data and analytics maturity

Despite a lot of attention around advanced forms of analytics, 64 percent of organisations globally still consider enterprise reporting and dashboards their most business-critical applications for data and analytics.
Organisations at transformational levels of maturity enjoy increased agility, better integration with partners and suppliers, and easier use of advanced predictive and prescriptive forms of analytics, Nick Heudecker says.
Organisations at transformational levels of maturity enjoy increased agility, better integration with partners and suppliers, and easier use of advanced predictive and prescriptive forms of analytics, Nick Heudecker says.

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91 percent of organisations globally have not yet reached a "transformational" level of maturity in data and analytics, according to findings of a worldwide survey of 196 organisations by Gartner. The survey revealed that 48 percent of organisations in Asia Pacific (APAC) reported their data and analytics maturity to be in the top two levels. This compares to 44 percent in North America and just 30 percent in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Only 9 percent of organisations surveyed reported themselves at the highest level, level five, where the biggest transformational benefits lie. Nick Heudecker, research vice president at Gartner said: "Don't assume that acquiring new technology is essential to reach transformational levels of maturity in data and analytics. 

"First, focus on improving how people and processes are coordinated inside the organisation, and then look at how you enhance your practices with external partners."

Improving process efficiency was by far the most common business problem that organisations sought to address with data and analytics, with 54 percent of respondents worldwide marking it in their top three problems. Enhancing customer experience and development of new products were the joint second most common uses, with 31 percent of respondents listing each issue.

The survey also revealed that, despite a lot of attention around advanced forms of analytics, 64 percent of organisations still consider enterprise reporting and dashboards their most business-critical applications for data and analytics. In the same manner, traditional data sources such as transactional data and logs also continue to dominate, although 46 percent of organisations now report using external data.

"It's easy to get carried away with new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence," added Heudecker.

"But traditional forms of analytics and business intelligence remain a crucial part of how organisations are run today, and this is unlikely to change in the near future."

Organisations reported a broad range of barriers that prevent them from increasing their use of data and analytics. There isn't one clear reason; organisations tend to experience a different set of issues depending on their geography and current level of maturity. However, the survey identified the three most common barriers as: defining data and analytics strategy; determining how to get value from projects; and solving risk and governance issues.

"These barriers are consistent with what Gartner hears from client organisations who are at maturity levels two and three," said Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner.

"As organisational maturity improves to enterprise level and beyond, organisational and funding issues tend to rise."

"Where the analytics workloads run is based a lot on where the data is generated and stored. Today, most public cloud workloads are new and we won't see the percentage of cloud use rise until legacy workloads migrate en masse," Hare added. "This scenario will happen eventually, but given the extent to which modern data and analytics efforts overwhelmingly use traditional data types stored on-premise, this shift will likely take several years to complete."

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