This is far from unexpected given the increased emphasis on the use of data throughout business.

However, despite the fact that more analytics data is being used for decision-making, the same is not true for other parts of the business. 

One area where organisations are really struggling is the use of analytics to drive actionable recommendations.

Q: Do analytics drive actionable recommendations which make a difference to your organisation?

There has been a significant drop in the proportion of companies who say that analytics ‘definitely’ drive actionable recommendations which make a difference to their organisation. 

Just 23% of respondents were in this camp, compared to 40% last year, a huge decrease of 43%.

Part of the issue derives from who makes the decisions and how they are made within the organisation. 

If the stakeholders who are in charge of the decision making process decide to ignore the data presented to them, then you may as well forget about analytics.

A way of reducing data ignorance is to create a ‘common currency’. This could be a metric or group of metrics that are universally important to the broadest range of stakeholders possible.

As our report states, by not just making the measurable important but rather making the important measurable, data becomes a better indicator of success and a better enabler for driving change.

Of course if this strategy is to be successful, you must ensure you know exactly what your stakeholders will deem as important, and this will normally be tied in heavily to their businesses goals. 

So what types of data can be used to help our respondents meet their business goals?

Here we asked them to rank the five most important types of data for meeting business goals.

As was the case last year, the data type holding the most importance to business success is CRM data, with 57% of company respondents ranking it in their top three and 29% making it their first choice.

For more detailed insight, download our full 54 page report: Measurement and Analytics Report 2015.