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Businesses need to use data analytics to stay ahead of the competition

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  • Publish date: 13 December 2016
  • Archived on: 13 December 2017

Tuesday 13 December 2016. Businesses that use data analytics to make fundamental changes to their culture and management style are far more likely to gain a competitive edge, according to a new ICAEW report.

Audit insights: data analytics highlights how this technology can transform the way businesses operate to stay ahead of their competitors.

But it advises that boards must think beyond operational efficiencies – if data analytics is to be used to its full potential to help them deliver products or services to markets faster than competitors, or exploit new markets.

Report author Katharine Bagshaw, ICAEW’s Auditing Standards Manager, said:

“Companies that are using data analytics are already achieving improved returns which are critical to investment.

“But efficiency improvements have been the easy gains. Businesses need to be more agile in how they operate, and they need to trust and encourage their staff to experiment, for example in product development, to get the most out of data technology. If they don’t they run the risk of being overtaken by competitors who grasp its full potential.”

Audit insights: data analytics has been produced to help boards think clearly about data analytics. It examines the impact of data analytics on businesses and the markets they operate in and sets out a series of questions that they need to consider including:

  • how can businesses get started with data analytics and the opportunities and threats that it presents;
  • how can management use data analytics to improve business performance;
  • what are the changes that are needed to business culture and management style to help their products and services get to market earlier and to exploit new markets; and
  • the wider need for businesses, government, and professional bodies to work together to make sure that people are equipped with the right skills set to use the new technology so that it makes a positive impact.

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