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Jun 30 2015

German Companies Favor BI, Avoid Big Data

Today, 75% of all German companies use some kind of business or customer data analysis as a basis for strategic decisions. 48 percent claim that the process yields useful results.

These are the key findings of a survey conducted by Bitkom Research – the 'scientific arm' of Germany's IT industry association BITKOM – on behalf of Swiss audit and advisory giant KPMG. Input for the study came from 706 companies across Germany that work in the secondary and tertiary sector and have at least 100 employees.

While a vast majority agrees that this type of analysis is relevant for business, the tools and methods deployed vary substantially: 87% of the participants still prefer spreadsheets, while only 9% rely on business intelligence (BI) software. Amongst the latter group, 33.3% are enterprises with more than 2,000 employees. Of these, 98 percent claim that they are "highly satisfied" or "satisfied" with their results. The researchers found that dedicated BI tools are especially popular in industries like automotive, chemicals/pharmaceuticals and insurance – a result that appears somewhat predictable given their sheer size as well as their importance for the German economy.

Regarding data collection, most companies accumulate and analyze the same types of information. Next to company master and transaction data, which are used by virtually every firm, four fifths (81%) rely on customer data obtained via CRM systems, behavioral analysis, and social networks. Two thirds (66%) also vacuum up 'internal' data produced by IT systems and processes, such as log files or info about locations and working environments gleaned from sensors and GPS modules. Nearly as many (65%) also consider publicly available data, including market research, scientific publications, and information provided to regulatory agencies.

Bitkom Research also wanted to know whether companies use these vast collections as a basis for important business decisions and found that 75% do. Against this backdrop, it's only logical that 61% believe that future data analysis will either help them increase revenues or improve the profitability of their business model. Given this generally positive approach, it is quite a surprise to learn that a majority of firms hesitates to deploy Big Data strategies: of the medium-sized companies with 500 to 2,000 employees, only one third has such a strategy in place, and the amount shrinks to 27% in firms with less than 500 staff. These values kind of set the pace since Germany's economy is largely dependent on SMBs – even 44% of the large companies with 2,000+ employees have so far evaded dealing with Big Data.

For more information, please see Bitkom Research's press release and the related presentation (both releases are only available in German).

 
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