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Australian businesses reaping rich rewards from data analytics investment

DBS researchers in partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have found businesses in Australia ahead of the global average in their use of data and analytics.

New research shows that Australian businesses are punching well above their weight when it comes to data maturity – the measure of how well data is integrated into decision-making and activities – something that was critical in the digital transformation many needed to survive the pandemic.

Results showed a clear correlation between higher levels of data maturity and increased performance, regardless of the size, type, or maturity of the organisation.

Researchers at Deakin Business School partnered with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) – a global leader in IT services and consulting – to develop the ‘State of Data and Analytics in Australian Organisations’ report, laying out the level of data maturity in Australian businesses and how it impacts business effectiveness.

The TCS Datom™ (Data and Analytics Target Operating Model) framework was used as a guideline for participants to self-assess their respective organisational levels of data maturity.

The average score from participating organisations was around three, indicating that Australian businesses are faring better than others surveyed by TCS globally, where the average score is below two.

More than 70 per cent of Australian participants said investment in data and analytics had increased during the pandemic.

Alfred Deakin Professor Mike Ewing, Executive Dean of Deakin’s Faculty of Business and Law, said every organisation was forced to become a digital organisation during the pandemic. 

“The pandemic reinforced the role of data and analytics for business survivability and performance. The digital change that would have previously happened over a decade happened in one year,” Professor Ewing said.

Professor Ewing said the report offered important insights to guide business decision-makers on leveraging the best-practices of data and analytics to keep driving their digital transformation journey post-pandemic.

“Unleashing the true potential of data enables faster decision-making, better customer experience and reveals new revenue opportunities. It helps organisations develop stronger business models, adapt to rapidly changing market dynamics, and deliver highly personalised products and services,” he said.

The report shows Australian businesses can grow data maturity in three important ways: improve data literacy, evangelise data-centricity, and develop a holistic data strategy and roadmap.

Report co-author, Deakin Business School Associate Professor Ambika Zutshi said the research identified that for a digital transformation to be truly successful an organisation must take its people along the journey as well.

“The people we spoke to in compiling this report emphasised the importance of finding a balance between the development of people, as well as technology, for holistic success in the different dimensions of digital,” she said.

"Building and maintaining relationships, and trust with internal and external stakeholders, is equally important to the technical knowledge and know-how. Accordingly, investment in people, organisational culture and strategy should not be overlooked in the haste to become digital leader.”

Vikram Singh, Country Head for TCS Australia and New Zealand, said the increased adoption of digital transformation by Australian organisations meant that data and analytics had emerged as a critical element of supporting long-term business strategies. 

“Organisations that shift away from managing centralised data silos and connect data across their entire ecosystem will deliver the most impactful customer experiences,” he said.

The research project was headed by Associate Professors Ambika Zutshi, Lemai Nguyen and William Yeoh and was embedded in TCS’s Global Research & Development program.

Professor Ewing said Deakin Business School was passionate about working with partners like TCS to build the skills, ideas and innovation needed to drive the future of global business. 

“Our business and technology research has real-world impact, examining the most effective ways to harness and deploy emerging technologies for competitive business advantage,” he said.

“Deakin is looking forward to further collaborations with TCS, including the co-design of a series of programs aimed at addressing Australia’s digital skills gap. We have a shared goal to help meet demand for talent in emerging technologies, including data analytics, as well as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics.”

To learn more about the current state of data and analytics maturity and its perceived value, as reported by Australian organisations, download the full report here.

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