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Budgets for digital analytics technology and consultancy services are rising, but the pace of change has led to a skills gap in many companies. 

According to Econsultancy's Measurement and Analytics Report, produced in partnership with Lynchpin, 61% of companies are increasing budgets for analytics technology, up from 35% in 2013. 

Based on a survey of 1,000 professionals, this report looks at how companies are using analytics to drive revenue, the technology used, and the challenges faced. 

Increased budgets for analytics technology

The report finds that technology rather than staff is a major driver of budget increases this year. 

Over the next 12 months, 46% of respondents plan on increasing their analytics budget for internal staff, compared to 61% who plan on increasing the budget for technology.

The results shown in the chart below suggests a major rethink of budgets since the 2013 survey, with more of a shift to technology.

In each of the three areas, a higher proportion of respondents are planning on increasing budgets this year compared to last.

This may be down to better economic conditions, but could also reflect the growing range of analytics technology available to marketers. 

Proportion of companies planning to increase their analytics budgets in the following areas over the next 12 months:

The analytics skills gap

The pace of change in analytics technology means that staff need to adapt quickly and acquire the necessary skills and training. 

Indeed, according to Econsultancy’s Skills of the Modern Marketer report, marketers recognise the current and future complexity of their roles, but many felt under-prepared in terms of the skills to deal with this change. 

As the chart below shows, the use of rapidly changing analytics technology is the skills gap most widely identified by respondents.

Using digital analytics tools was selected by almost half (47%) as a top-three area of skills deficiency, with 20% seeing it as their biggest gap.

Statistical modelling, another core analytics skill is the second most-selected gap, chosen by 40% of respondents as a top-three problem area. 

In which areas are the biggest skills gaps? (company respondents)

Accordng to Lynchpin MD Andrew Hood: 

Without getting into a correlation versus causation debate, there are definitely some positive trends emerging in terms of increasing investment and increasing success in making practical usage of data to make decisions. 

However, as we saw when web analytics tools first hit the market, the skills and resource gaps are getting more accentuated and there is a potentially dangerous expectation that technology investment will in itself drive success.

Graham Charlton

Published 19 June, 2014 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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