UK firms fail to embrace analytics

09 July 2012

LONDON: Brand owners in the UK have failed to take advantage of the opportunities provided by online analytics due to "strategic inertia", a report has revealed.

Lynchpin, the consultancy, and Econsultancy, the insights group, polled 700 executives, and found many corporations were "struggling" to develop a truly integrated approach to decision making.

In all, just 22% of firms had a company-wide strategy linking their data analysis to business objectives, a total that has seen little "significant deviation" from the 20% recorded in 2008.

Moreover, 59% of organisations agreed they did "not quite" have such procedures in place at present, but are "working on it". "In what appears to be a case of strategic inertia ... this figure has hovered at around the 60% mark since 2008," the study argued.

Among the main issues proving restrictive was a lack of budgetary resources, with 50% of the panel citing this as a problem. The absence of a clear strategy logged 31% on the same terms.

Elsewhere, 26% of the sample mentioned siloed structures and insufficient co-ordination as limiting their potential here, and 24% simply "don't know what to measure".

In equivalent research last year, 40% of enterprises stated they were planning to boost budgets for employees working on web analytics, but the actual number of operators with no such staff rose from 25% to 30%.

"A shortage of appropriately skilled analysts is holding back progress in making the best use of data," the study said.

The statistics being collected most frequently at present covered the interaction between online channels – for example, clickthroughs – on 70% and customer survey data on 62%, although this latter score was down by three percentage points on 2011.

Consumer engagement data registered 61% on this metric, an improvement of seven percentage points annually, a similar increase as customer relationship management and profiling on 60%.

Reputation, buzz and social media sentiment secured 56% here, competitor information was on 50%, and the interaction between digital and offline media yielded 47%.

The most popular paid-for services included surveys on 66%, media planning and competitor analysis, both on 53%, and buzz monitoring on 40%, the report added.

Data sourced from Econsultancy; additional content by Warc staff