McKinsey’s most recent survey on data and analytics adoption shows that more and more companies are using data monetization to generate growth. Simply put, the survey found that leaders in data and analytics are thinking more about it and doing more about it than their laggard competitors.

They’re making existing products better.

They’re creating new ones.

They’re even expanding to sell data-based products and/or utilities.

According to the survey, data and analytics are impacting the day-to-day operations of companies in all industries, with nearly half saying functions like sales and marketing have significantly or fundamentally changed. From an industry perspective, the survey respondents in the high tech, materials, and energy sectors reported the most functional changes as a result of data and analytics.

The competitive landscape is also changing with 70 percent of executives reporting at least moderate disruption in their industries as a result of companies adopting big data analytics. In some cases, new data-focused businesses are leapfrogging traditional businesses, and changing the nature of competition.

Not surprisingly, most survey respondents agreed that generating revenue growth with data monetization was the #1 reason for carrying out data and analytics initiatives. In fact, McKinsey reports that data monetization is even emerging as a competitive differentiator for companies, directly correlating to industry-leading performance.

So, what can you do as a business leader to make sure your company is maximizing its benefit from today’s groundbreaking data and analytics technology?

What the researchers found was that leaders differ from non-leaders when it comes implementing data and analytics strategy and structure. They also found that executives at leading companies are simply more involved in the effort to make data and analytics part of the everyday business.

According to the McKinsey article, putting the “building blocks of a successful data-and-analytics program” in place first is a requirement for success, including:

  1. Strategy — Not surprisingly, leaders have a long-term plan when it comes to data and analytics — it’s a key foundation for success. What is a little surprising is that a relatively significant 61 percent of McKinsey’s survey respondents said they either have only “ad-hoc” efforts in place or have not responded at all. The advice: Start with a strategy.
  2. Organization and Talent — Flexible operational and organizational models tended to be more present at leading companies, while the search for good talent is getting more challenging for everyone. The survey found that 60 percent of respondents say it’s getting harder to source good data and analytics talent, up from 48 percent in the previous survey.
  3. Leadership and Culture — The survey found that commitment and a consistent message are what’s required from business leaders for success. Here’s the headline: Executive engagement is the #1 contributor to an organization’s success in data monetization efforts. What’s more, executives at leading companies spend 20 percent or more of their timing in high-level, strategic discussion around the topic.

You can read the full McKinsey article here, which also includes steps that executives can take as they launch new data monetization initiatives.