McKinsey: Machine Learning, Analytics Offer Untapped Potential


Business and industry have only just scratched the surface when it comes to realizing the potential value from analytics. Consulting firm McKinsey predicted huge value to come in its 2011 report, Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity.

The firm released a new report, The Age of Analytics: Competing In a Data-Driven World, to update its previous research, look at some of the new trends, and provide a picture of the current state of analytics in organizations today. InformationWeek spoke with one of the new report’s lead researchers and authors, McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) partner Michael Chui. Overall, MGI still believes data and analytics have huge remaining potential to provide value — even more than anticipated five years ago.

“For the most part, most organizations have not been able to capture the majority of the potential yet,” in terms of analytics, Chui told InformationWeek. “There’s more work to be done. We are not saying that companies are bad. Almost every company has started doing something. What we’ve said is there’s a lot more you can do.”

Among the underlying factors behind why the potential has not yet been tapped include organizational issues and the unmet need for analytics talent in the market. But there may be more to it than just those issues, as demonstrated by adoption rates across various business domains. For instance, domains such as retail and location-based business services are quite advanced in the adoption and use of analytics, according to Chui. The public sector and healthcare are quite a bit slower, he said. Manufacturing is somewhere in the middle, particularly with its more recent foray into using data from sensors and the internet of things (IoT).

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