HIGH STAKES, HIGH REWARDS: FOREWORD | 1
A N A L Y T I C S L I N K A G E S
DATA & ADVANCED ANALYTICS IN CANADA
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MEASUREMENT AND LEARNING
THE CASE FOR CHANGE
INDUSTRY SCORE CARDS
GEOGRAPHIC SCORE CARDS
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We’re pleased to offer our latest research on
how Canadian organizations are using data
and advanced analytics to compete and win.
In this new study, EY and Forbes Insights
conducted a survey of 1,518 global executives
at large enterprises, including 110 Canadian
executives. The survey finds that leading
organizations are placing greater strategic
importance on advanced analytics and are
investing in people and resources to embed
advanced analytics more deeply into business
In some respects, Canadian businesses
are ahead of their global peers in terms of
advanced analytics adoption. In fact, 97% of
Canadian respondents report some sort of
analytics strategy in place. Of those, 22% say
there is some analytics strategy for functions
or lines of business; 22% say their analytics
strategy is established for the enterprise, but
not fully aligned across the business; 32%
say their analytics strategy is established
and starting to be viewed as a key strategic
priority; while 17% say their analytics strategy
is well established and central to their overall
When asked how data and analytics
is impacting their business strategy/
competitive differentiation, 32% say it’s
prompted them to change some aspects of
their business strategy, while another 32%
say they are in the process of changing it.
Meanwhile, 14% say they have already used
data and analytics to completely change
their business strategy and how they
Despite the attention Canadian companies
have placed on advanced analytics, there is
still more work to be done to benefit from
the value of these programs. According to
37% of Canadian respondents, designing
advanced analytics programs/projects/
initiatives is the biggest challenge to their
company’s ability to create more value with
data and analytics.
In addition, Canadians are less likely than
their global peers to have advanced analytics
strategies that are viewed as a key strategic
priority. In fact, only 17% of Canadian
executives say their analytics strategy is well-
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Partner & National Analytics Practice Leader
and central to the overall business strategy.
Some of the top challenges to developing
or refining the business strategy to account
for data and analytics include organization/
culture decision-making that is based
more on intuition than data, regulatory
constraints, lack of budget and other forms
of organization commitment, and lack of
collaboration/alignment among members of
the management committee.
According to the study, Canadian executives
are also behind their global peers in terms of
being able to apply analytics at the earliest
stages of the business-development process
and are struggling to measure the results of
these advanced analytics programs. Even when
data is available, senior business leaders are
not consistently leveraging data and analytics
in their decision-making to design and execute
strategies. This puts Canadian organizations
behind their global peers, hindering their
ability to compete on the global stage.
Canadian leaders must do more to close the
gap and use advanced analytics insights in
order to make the evidence-based case for
change and fully capitalize on the strategic
benefits of data-driven business initiatives.
Contact us to discuss what leading Canadian
organizations are doing to create a
competitive advantage using analytics, and
how we can help you.
THE ROLE OF DATA AND ANALYTICS IN THE BUSINESS STRATEGY?
Analytics strategy is NOT well established
and central to the overall business strategy
Analytics strategy is well established
and central to the overall business strategy
HIGH STAKES, HIGH REWARDS: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY | 5
CANADIAN ENTERPRISES SHOW STRENGTHS
— AND GAPS — IN ADVANCED ANALYTICS MATURITY
Data and advanced analytics are taking on greater strategic importance for en-
terprises throughout the world — nowhere more so than in Canada. Across all
industrial sectors—from financial services to telecommunications to provincial
governments — leading organizations are investing in people and resources to
embed advanced analytics more deeply into business decision-making.
Many Canadian organizations are ahead of global peers in these efforts, ac-
cording to new research by Forbes Insights and EY. The survey polled 1518
global executives at large enterprises, including 110 Canadian executives. The
research revealed ambitious data strategies. “What’s new today is our capa-
bilities for advanced analytics, including predictive modeling,” says Christine
Grimm, senior executive director for investment and decision support within
Nova Scotia’s Department of Health and Wellness. “This will enable us to link
data sets that have not been linked before to influence future outcomes.”
The survey found that a solid percentage of Canadian organizations rank as
data leaders—as a result, they benefit from well-established analytics strategies
and see growth in operating margins and revenues of 15% or more, respectively,
along with significant improvement in their risk profile.
In total, 11% of Canadian organizations see themselves as market leading in
terms of their competitive ability to use advanced analytics. This level is higher
than what global executives report overall. One explanation is that budget con-
straints and poor collaboration among management committees — two
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common roadblocks — are not as significant in Canada as in other parts of the
world. Similarly, senior leaders in Canadian organizations are more willing to
base decisions on advanced analytics rather than using intuition exclusively.
But the findings also show a significant number of Canadian organizations
share pain-points and roadblocks seen in other parts of the world. Canadians
are less likely than their global peers to have advanced analytics strategies that
are being viewed as a key strategic priority. Even fewer — only 17% — say these
strategies are well-established and central to overall business strategy. This puts
Canadian organizations behind others in two categories that are key differenti-
ators for advanced analytics maturity.
Other gaps include not being able to apply advanced analytics at the earliest
stages of the business-development process and struggling to measure the
results of analytics programs.
Canadian firms must do more to build on their advantages in collaboration to
close these and other gaps. When they do, more organizations will attain global
leadership status and fully capitalize on the strategic benefits of data-driven
MEASUREMENT AND LEARNING
Quantifying and learning from
data-driven business outcomes.
Building the underlying models that
govern analytics activities, such as
organizational structures that allow
collaboration, chain of command, etc.
Defining the specific activities and
projects that will achieve desired
Translating all the upfront goal-setting,
modeling, and methodology into
action— making analytics insights an
integral part of business operations.
Defining the role that data and
analytics plays in the company
strategy and business model.
HIGH STAKES, HIGH REWAR