Study: 91% of Africa’s Leaders Explore Data Analytics

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A recent study conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in cooperation with Oxford Economics, has revealed that market leadership is most frequently attained when an organisation establishes a high level of trust in data from its customers, its own business processes, and across its partner ecosystem.

To believe in the efficacy of such data, organisations must first gather data, which is key to business success, analyse such information through data analytics and make use of the results from the data analytics to make informed business decision.

The idea of believing in data analytics, is the focus of the IBM’s 20th edition of its bi-annual C-Suite Study, titled: “Build Your Trust Advantage,” which polled nearly 380 C-level executives across African countries, Nigeria inclusive, designed to examine how companies are achieving market leadership by emphasising trust in their use and sharing of data.

The study stated that 91 per cent of leaders strongly believe data helps create a strategic advantage in strengthening their level of customer trust as well as their bottom lines.

According to the study, through the quantitative and qualitative surveys issued, it became clear there was a set of leaders – dubbed “Torchbearers” – that stood out as understanding that transparency, reciprocity and accountability are critical ingredients for earning trust among key stakeholders.
This group was found to outperform peers in revenue growth and profitability, delivering 169 per cent higher results, as well as in innovation and managing change. The leaders were seen to have a deep understanding that building trust in customer relationships is a strategic imperative and work hard to earn and maintain it.

The study was said to be critically important at a time when consumers report more concerns than ever before in their willingness to share personal information.

Analysing the study, the Director, IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), Lan Fletcher, said: “Leading organisations that have put trust at the core of the way they use data with their customers are creating massive opportunities for greater success. Today’s businesses need to be able to earn trust from their customers while also trusting the data from their own processes and ecosystems, or they will quickly fall behind their peers.”

While the study focuses on the need for transparency on how companies handle customer data, it also highlights the importance of trusting data that’s within an organisation. African leaders were found to take great pains to ensure that the data within their own walls is accurate and clean so they can leverage it to make the best-informed decisions on important business ventures, such as developing new business models and entering new or emerging markets.

According to the study, 82 per cent of African leaders say they have deep trust in data to perfect the quality and speed of the decisions they make, while 79 per cent already extensively use data to develop new business models, and 85 per cent already use data to make informed decisions on entering new markets.