Q&A: Insights From the Forrester Opportunity Snapshot

We may not have a crystal ball, but one thing is clear: data and analytics will play an important role in shaping the success of organizations in 2021. To better understand the issue, Alteryx commissioned Forrester to conduct a study investigating organizations’ key business objectives, how they currently approach data science and analytics, and the challenges and opportunities of harnessing data and analytics as a strategic business asset. 

For an even deeper dive, Cinny Little, Principal Analyst at Forrester, sat down with us for a brief Q&A session to share her insights from the Opportunity Snapshot
 

Looking toward 2021, why is harnessing analytics, data science, and process automation as a strategic asset more important than ever? 

Answer: Now is the time for activating the transformative power of data, not just considering or experimenting. Whether a business is struggling or thriving, the rapid shifts caused by the pandemic and accompanying recession require nothing less than leveling up the entire workforce’s ability to use data and data-driven processes for decision-making that matters. To enable broad use across organizations’ roles and silos, firms must adopt a platform with targeted self-service functionalities including analytics, data science, and process automation.


What are the biggest roadblocks to infusing a culture of analytics throughout the organization? 

Answer: In an advanced enterprise culture of analytics, people use data for insights that they apply to decision-making that matters, everywhere in the firm. Few firms have achieved that; all firms are working on it. The biggest roadblock to progress in that journey is people-related, not technology-related. Bottom line: more people must use more data for insights, and that means that they must change the way they work. And that requires self-service data and analytics available to all.

 

What are the top 2-3 insights from our recently commissioned Opportunity Snapshot conducted by Forrester Consulting, “Data And Analytics: The Key To Driving The Business During Challenging Times”? 

Answer: Two of the three top insights are people- and culture-related. The first is lack of employees with data skills sets. The second top insight is a lack of appropriate skills among business users who must use insights from data. These elements hold up firms’ growth in activating data. The third insight is that organizations using a data and analytics platform today prioritize technology that is powerful and has a wide breadth of functionality; is flexible, supports a breadth of data sources and publishing to multiple outputs; is easy to use for a broad base of employees; and is cost effective.

 

What was the most surprising finding in the survey? 

Answer: The most surprising finding: nearly two-thirds of organizations reported that they spend more on data and analytics during economic downswings (although this, of course, depends on the nature of the downturn). That’s a key indicator that firms understand that data and analytics have become essential both to thriving in a period of rapid change and supporting recovery in difficult times.

 

Embedding data-driven decision-making into the organization is a means to an end, not an end in itself. What is the ultimate goal for organizations embarking on an analytics-led digital transformation? 

Answer: The ultimate goal is achieving the critical business benefits: revenue, cost efficiency, and keeping ahead of customers and markets. To achieve these benefits, firms must take a converged approach to analytics, data science, and process automation accompanied by purposeful focus on upskilling the workforce and embedding a culture of data and analytics across the organization.
 

STAY PUT. 

WATCH

Join Nick Jewell, Sr Director of Product Marketing at Alteryx, and guest speaker, Cinny Little, Principal Analyst at Forrester, for a conversation on the state of data and analytics.

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