Sharing big data analytics best practices and what leading companies are doing to achieve breakthrough results is a big part of what we do here on the APEX of Innovation. We’ve offered advice on building a culture of innovation, written about how to manage algorithm bias, and shared new visual analytics solutions that are opening up data analytics to everyone.

Now we’re covering a recent McKinsey & Company report on how data analytics leaders stay ahead, which highlights how “companies with the greatest overall growth in revenue and earnings receive a significant proportion of that boost from data and analytics.” In fact, according to the most recent McKinsey Global Survey, leading companies reported that their data analytics initiatives contributed 20 percent or more to earnings over the last three years.

That’s good news for high performers, but bad news for laggards, who are falling even further behind due to ad-hoc efforts and “one-off” actions that fail to deliver long-term, strategic impact.

To help catch up, McKinsey advises executives to create an “endurance” strategy that aligns data initiatives with the business over the long term. In addition, McKinsey stresses the need to build a “powerful” data culture where “employees consistently use data as a basis for their decision making” as a key to success.

The McKinsey article goes on to offer executives some tactical tips on how to get more out of data and analytics initiatives, including:

  1. Make data available. The McKinsey article advises “getting data out of silos” and into advanced tools for data analytics that drive data-driven decision making. Success can also require opening up data to more decision makers, and even external partners.
  2. Treat data as a product with real return on investment. Data is not a “raw material” but rather should be treated as an internal product that is distributed across the company and managed closely to maximize its value.
  3. Take an agile approach to digital transformation. Building data analytics into the business does not happen overnight. Rather, McKinsey suggests data cultures evolve incrementally. This requires providing training for existing employees and new hires, as well as ensuring the C-Suite is properly informed every step of the way. 

To learn more, including the role of the C-suite and how embracing failure comes into play, check out the complete McKinsey article here.