- Sales, Marketing and Operations are most active early adopters of IoT today.
- Early adopters most often initiate pilots to drive revenue and gain operational efficiencies faster than anticipated.
- 32% of enterprises are investing in IoT, and 48% are planning to in 2019.
- IoT early adopters lead their industries in advanced and predictive analytics adoption.
These and many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Services’ latest report, 2018 IoT Intelligence® Market Study, in its 4th year of publication. The study concentrates on end-user interest in and demand for business intelligence in IoT. The study also examines key related technologies such as location intelligence, end-user data preparation, cloud computing, advanced and predictive analytics, and big data analytics. “While the market is still in an early stage, we believe that IoT Intelligence, the means to understand and leverage IoT data, will continue to expand as organizations mature in their collection and leverage of sensor level data,” said Howard Dresner, founder, and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services. 70% of respondents work at North American organizations (including the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico). EMEA accounts for about 20%, and the remainder is distributed across Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Please see pages 11, 15 through 18 of the study for specifics regarding the methodology and respondent demographics.
Key insights gained from the study include the following:
- Sales, Marketing and Operations are most active early adopters of IoT today. Looking to capitalize on IoT’s potential to gain real-time customer feedback on products’ and services’ performance, Sales and Marketing lead all departments in their prioritizing IoT’s value in the enterprises. 12% of Operations leaders say that IoT is critical to attaining their goals. Executive Management and Finance have yet to see the value that Sales, Marketing and Operations do.
- Manufacturers see IoT as the most critical to achieving their product quality, production scheduling and supply chain orchestration goals. Insurance industry leaders also view IoT as critical to operations as their business models are now concentrating on automating inventory and safety management. Insurance firms also track vehicles in shipping and logistics fleets to gain greater visibility into how route operations can be optimized at the lowest possible risk of accidents. Financial Services and Healthcare are the next most interested in IoT with Higher Education and Business Services assign the lowest levels of importance by industry.
- Investment in IoT analytics, application development and defining accurate, reliable metrics to guide development is the most critical aspect of IoT adoption today. Investments in the data supply chain including data capture, movement, data prep, and management is the second-most critical area followed by investments in IoT infrastructure. Analytics, application development, and accurate, reliable metrics guiding DevOps are consistent with the study’s finding that early adopters have an excellent track record adopting and applying advanced and predictive analytics to challenging logistical, operations, sales, and marketing problems.
- IoT early adopters or advocates prioritize dashboards, reporting, IoT use cases that provide data streams integral to analytics, advanced visualization, and data mining. IoT early adopters and the broader respondent base differ most in the prioritization of IT analytics, location intelligence, integration with operational processes, in-memory analysis, open source software, and edge computing. The data reflects how IoT early adopters quickly become more conversant in emerging technologies with the goal of achieving exponential scale across analytics and IoT platforms.
- The criticality of advanced and predictive analytics to all leaders surveyed is at an all-time high. Attaining a (weighted-mean) importance score of 3.6 on a 5.0 scale, advanced and predictive analytics is today considered “critical” or “very important” to a majority of respondents. Despite a mild decline in 2017, importance sentiment (the perceived criticality of advanced and predictive analytics) is on an uptrend across the five years of our study. Mastery of advanced and predictive analytics is a leading indicator of IoT adoption, indicating the potential for more analytics pilots and in-production IoT projects next year.
- The most valuable features for advanced and predictive analytics apps include support for a range of regression models, hierarchical clustering, descriptive statistics, and recommendation engine support. Model management is important to more than 90% of respondents, further indicating IoT analytics scale is a goal many are pursuing. Geospatial analysis (highly associated with mapping, populations, demographics, and other web-generated data), Bayesian methods, and automatic feature selection is the next most required series of features.
- Access to advanced analytics for predictive and temporal analysis is the most important usability benefit to IoT adopters today. Second is support for easy iteration, and third is a simple process for continuous modification of models. The study evaluated a detailed set of nine usability benefits that support advanced and predictive activities and processes. All nine benefits are important to respondents, with the last one of a specialist not being required important to a majority of them at 70%.
- Organizations successful with analytics and BI apps define success in business results, while unsuccessful organizations concentrate on adoption rate first.
- 50% of vendors offer perpetual on-premises licensing in 2018, a notable decline over 2017. The number of vendors offering subscription licensing continues to grow for both on-premises and public cloud models.
- Fewer than 15% of respondent organizations have a Chief Data Officer, and only about 10% have a Chief Analytics Officer today.
These and many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Service’s 2018 Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study. In its ninth annual edition, the study provides a broad assessment of the business intelligence (BI) market and a comprehensive look at key user trends, attitudes, and intentions. The latest edition of the study adds Information Technology (IT) analytics, sales planning, and GDPR, bringing the total to 36 topics under study.
“The Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study is the cornerstone of our annual research agenda, providing the most in-depth and data-rich portrait of the state of the BI market,” said Howard Dresner, founder and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services. “Drawn from the first-person perspective of users throughout all industries, geographies, and organization sizes, who are involved in varying aspects of BI projects, our report provides a unique look at the drivers of and success with BI.” Survey respondents include IT (28%), followed by Executive Management (22%), and Finance (19%). Sales/Marketing (8%) and the Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) (7%). Please see page 15 of the study for specifics on the methodology.
Key takeaways from the study include the following:
- Executive Management, Operations, and Sales are the three primary roles driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption in 2018. Executive management teams are taking more of an active ownership role in BI initiatives in 2018, as this group replaced Operations as the leading department driving BI adoption this year. The study found that the greatest percentage change in functional areas driving BI adoption includes Human Resources (7.3%), Marketing (5.9%), BICC (5.1%) and Sales (5%).
- Making better decisions, improving operational efficiencies, growing revenues and increased competitive advantage are the top four BI objectives organizations have today. Additional goals include enhancing customer service and attaining greater degrees of compliance and risk management. The graph below rank orders the importance of BI objectives in 2018 compared to the percent change in BI objectives between 2017 and 2018. Enhanced customer service is the fastest growing objective enterprises adopt BI to accomplish, followed by growth in revenue (5.4%).
- Dashboards, reporting, end-user self-service, advanced visualization, and data warehousing are the top five most important technologies and initiatives strategic to BI in 2018. The study found that second-tier initiatives including data discovery, data mining/advanced algorithms, data storytelling, integration with operational processes, and enterprise and sales planning are also critical or very important to enterprises participating in the survey. Technology areas being hyped heavily today including the Internet of Things, cognitive BI, and in-memory analysis are relatively low in the rankings as of today, yet are growing. Edge computing increased 32% as a priority between 2017 and 2018 for example. The results indicate the core aspect of excelling at using BI to drive better business decisions and more revenue still dominate the priorities of most businesses today.
- Sales & Marketing, Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) and Executive Management have the highest level of interest in dashboards and advanced visualization. Finance has the greatest interest in enterprise planning and budgeting. Operations including manufacturing, supply chain management, and services) leads interest in data mining, data storytelling, integration with operational processes, mobile device support, data catalog and several other technologies and initiatives. It’s understandable that BICC leaders most advocate end-user self-service and attach high importance to many other categories as they are internal service bureaus to all departments in an enterprise. It’s been my experience that BICCs are always looking for ways to scale BI adoption and enable every department to gain greater value from analytics and BI apps. BICCs in the best run companies are knowledge hubs that encourage and educate all departments on how to excel with analytics and BI.
- Insurance companies most prioritize dashboards, reporting, end-user self-service, data warehousing, data discovery and data mining. Business Services lead the adoption of advanced visualization, data storytelling, and embedded BI. Manufacturing most prioritizes sales planning and enterprise planning but trails in other high-ranking priorities. Technology prioritizes Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) given its scale and speed advantages. The retail & wholesale industry is going through an analytics and customer experience revolution today. Retailers and wholesalers lead all others in data catalog adoption and mobile device support.
- Insurance, Technology and Business Services vertical industries have the highest rate of BI adoption today. The Insurance industry leads all others in BI adoption, followed by the Technology industry with 40% of organizations having 41% or greater adoption or penetration. Industries whose BI adoption is above average include Business Services and Retail & Wholesale. The following graphic illustrates penetration or adoption of Business Intelligence solutions today by industry.
- Dashboards, reporting, advanced visualization, and data warehousing are the highest priority investment areas for companies whose budgets increased from 2017 to 2018. Additional high priority areas of investment include advanced visualization and data warehousing. The study found that less well-funded organizations are most likely to lead all others by investing in open source software to reduce costs.
- Small organizations with up to 100 employees have the highest rate of BI penetration or adoption in 2018. Factors contributing to the high adoption rate for BI in small businesses include business models that need advanced analytics to function and scale, employees with the latest analytics and BI skills being hired to also scale high growth businesses and fewer barriers to adoption compared to larger enterprises. BI adoption tends to be more pervasive in small businesses as a greater percentage of employees are using analytics and BI apps daily.
- Executive Management is most familiar with the type and number of BI tools in use across the organization. The majority of executive management respondents say their teams are using between one or two BI tools today. Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC) consistently report a higher number of BI tools in use than other functional areas given their heavy involvement in all phases of analytics and BI project execution. IT, Sales & Marketing and Finance are likely to have more BI tools in use than Operations.
- Enterprises rate BI application usability and product quality & reliability at an all-time high in 2018. Other areas of major improvements on the part of vendors include improving ease of implementation, online training, forums and documentation, and completeness of functionality. Dresner’s research team found between 2017 and 2018 integration of components within product dropped, in addition to scalability. The study concludes the drop in integration expertise is due to an increasing number of software company acquisitions aggregating dissimilar products together from different platforms.