Global Data and Analytics Survey reveals Big Decisions required in predictive analytics

Dec 15, 2016

PwC’s 2016 Big Decisions Survey focuses on how enterprises around the world are limiting risk and leveraging data to make the Big Decisions that will give them a competitive edge and reveals that less than a third of companies use predictive analytics. Over a quarter say they are just trying to survive in a state of disruption.

With insights across 15 industries such as banking & capital markets, communications, healthcare, energy, utilities & mining and technology, the survey of more than 2,100 company decision-makers and leaders found that:

  • There are three important Big Decisions facing executives. Launching new products and services (31%); entering new markets (17%) and investing in IT (15%).
  • Highly data-driven companies are ready to compete. Companies are looking to grow in new markets and a large portion of them (48%) describe themselves as highly data driven.
  • Executives have great ambition to increase decision speed and sophistication. Executives want decision-making to be faster, especially in banking, insurance, and healthcare. But decision-makers say there’s even more work to be done on sophistication.
  • Companies are beginning to understand the power of forward-looking predictive and prescriptive analytics. But there are still a surprisingly low number (30% of companies who use predictive analytics.
  • A significant role for machines is emerging. Well over a third (41%) of leaders say Big Decisions will require analysis using machine algorithms.

PwC Ireland Data Analytics Partner, Darren O’Neill, said: “Data is an extremely under-leveraged asset within most organisations, and a company’s capability to access the right data at the right time can make or break the bottom line. The survey suggest that leaders are stuck at a crossroads, with 28% of decision-makers polled stating that they are just trying to survive in a state of disruption. Given the anticipated impact of each Big Decision on shareholder value, the stakes are high.

The survey clearly calls out that the often unrealised value of data can be used to lower the inherent risk in decision-making to become more agile and increasingly competitive.”

Other key survey findings include:

  • Big Decisions are being driven by maintaining or gaining market share (40%); survival (28%) or the ability to disrupt an industry (25%).
  • When it comes to the most important Big Decision, launching new products and services, 40% of respondents say they are highly data-driven, but only 30% use predictive analytics.
  • When it comes to the Big Decision of entering into new markets, nearly half (48%) of respondents say they are highly data-driven, with only 30% using predictive analytics.
  • When it comes to IT Big Decisions, 40% of respondents say they are highly data-driven.

Richard Day, Data Services Partner, PwC Ireland concluded: “According to the survey, a significant proportion of respondents report not to be highly data-driven when it comes to important decisions and less than a third rely on predictive analytics. This is worrying. While human judgement and gut feel will always be part of the mix, key decisions in today’s disruptive world need the forward-looking precision and risk awareness that data and analytics can provide. Important decisions will only become more complex, but if you get your data to work for you, you will realise the benefits.


Notes to editors:

PwC’s Big Decisions Survey encourages companies to ask the right questions that will lead to data solutions. Companies need to not just collect big data, but question their sphere of discovery, understand how to find the questions worth asking (before looking for the answers in the data), build an awareness of who is responsible for making decisions and taking action and really think about how to track outcomes to determine if the best approach is being taken.

The full survey can be found here.


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Corporate Communications
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