Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
Melbourne, VIC – 6 December 2011 - Analytics professionals are the modern-day knights in shining armour for businesses according to the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), the industry body for analytics professionals.

‘Successful businesses will be those that excel at collecting, managing and analysing the proliferation of data to deliver insights that constantly improve business performance,’ stated IAPA President Doug Campbell who is also a Director of Deloitte Analytics.

‘With the digital universe now measured in zettabytes, 71 percent of marketers unprepared for the data deluge and predictions of a 50 fold increase in data inflows, those in analytical positions are already in high demand - a trend that’s predicted to see 60 percent more positions than can be filled by 2018.’

IAPA was established in 2006 as a not-for-profit organisation to support and encourage analytics professionals. From a modest membership of just 300, IAPA has grown to over 1500 members with vibrant branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

The increasing demand for analytics professionals reflected in membership growth has also inspired IAPA to relaunch its website as an online hub for members and those interested in analytics. The IAPA website (www.iapa.org.au) provides a community for those in analytics professions and those interested in analytics.

‘Data analytics is not new, it’s not the new black,’ noted Campbell.

‘Since the early days of decision support systems in the 60’s, businesses of all sizes have been using available data to improve decision making and gain greater insights into business. You don’t need a huge capital outlay to drive significant business improvements.’

‘Analytics is the classical black - it’s always been in fashion for the best performing organisations that recognise the influence data can have on the future. Transitioning from hindsight to foresight assists future operations planning, removes cost and improves customer service and supply chains.

‘New analytical technologies coupled with advances in computing power have helped enormously but analytical skills coupled with business process improvement are the key to unlocking the value from this data,’ continued Campbell.

Local examples of business insights gained from analytics include Telstra realising a 15 percent improvement in some of its recent retention campaigns; Commonwealth Bank improving internet fraud loss to turnover ratios by 80 percent; a wealth management firm using artificial intelligence to analyse vast datasets to determine behavioural customer segments; an airline discovering a $25 million tax benefit through data analysis; and a water provider analysing massive data streams to assess current and future trends to grow and retain customers.

Analytics is the application of artificial intelligence techniques and advanced statistical methods to identify patterns from data. Acting on insights from the patterns of process, customer, employee, population and competitor interactions and behaviours can significantly improve business performance.

Analytics professionals are involved in diverse areas including social network analysis, sports performance enhancement, online/mobile customer behaviour, marketing optimisation, cross channel cost management, pricing, lead identification, salesforce effectiveness, credit risk, fraud detection, forecasting, process optimisation, equitable distribution of resources for government, workforce planning, quality assurance, safety and customer insight.

ENDS

Stats Insight for Editors
• The IDC Digital Universe study found the digital universe in 2011 is 1.8 zettabytes,; and is predicted to be 7.9 zettabytes by 2015 (“Extracting Value from Chaos”, June 2011, IDC Digital Universe Study)
• IDC predicts digital content to reach 2.7 zettabytes in 2012, a growth of 48% from 2011, with 90% of this information unstructured. (‘IDC Predictions 2012: Competing for 2020’, December 2011)
• IBM Global CMO Study found 71 percent were unprepared to manage the explosion in data (“From Stretched to Strengthened: Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study”, October 2011)
• IDC forecast organisations will deal with 50 times more information by 2020 than today (“Extracting Value from Chaos”, June 2011, IDC Digital Universe Study)
• Through 2015, more than 85 percent of Fortune 500 organisations will fail to effectively exploit big data for competitive advantage (Gartner report, "Gartner's Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2012 and Beyond: Control Slips Away," November 2011)
• Axciom’s 2011 survey found that only 25 percent of Australian businesses are integrating all marketing data in a centralised system for a comprehensive customer view. (“Connecting the Dots”, November 2011)
• McKinsey Global Institute predict a 60 percent shortfall in deep analytical talent and data savvy managers and analysts in US, with similar shortfalls globally (‘Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity’, June 2011, McKinsey & Company)
• Telstra outbound marketing results from SAS case study (find at www.sas.com/success/Telstra2010.html)
• Commonwealth Bank improved ratios from SAS case study(find at www.sas.com/success/CBA.html)