Untapped potential of data & analytics | KPMG | CH

Untapped potential of data & analytics

Untapped potential of data & analytics

A new KPMG study reveals that most companies in Switzerland, too, use big data analyses for their business activities. Only very few of them, though, are in a position to tap the full potential offered by data & analytics (D&A). Future use will focus both on marketing and opening up new growth segments.


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KPMG Switzerland


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With digitalization on the rise, the targeted processing of big data as well as the added value this generates will become increasingly vital for enterprises’ future success. Despite the fact that big data is opening up new areas of application at an ever-greater pace, these still seem largely unutilized. The question of how to deal with big data is also posing some enormous challenges for Swiss enterprises. These are some of the insights provided by the international, multi-industry study entitled “Clarity on Data & Analytics” for which KPMG surveyed a total of 830 company representatives in over 15 countries.

While numerous companies use D&A...

Nearly all of the companies that participated in the survey indicated that they make some systematic use of big data. 97% try to minimize their risks by analyzing and interpreting large volumes of data whereby two thirds of the respondents were actually able to reduce their business risks. 92% of the companies pursue marketing-related goals or intend to do so using data analyses and more than 80% indicated that they use D&A to gain a better understanding of their customers and how they behave.

...only a very few truly tap its full potential

For many enterprises, big data analysis is mainly a tool that helps them make decisions and minimize risks. 86% of the companies indicated that D&A allows them to make decisions more swiftly whereby four out of five respondents felt that these decisions had been correct in retrospect. Two thirds were able to reduce their business risks by analyzing the big data they had available to them. According to 47% of respondents, increased productivity is the biggest driver of D&A in businesses. 37% of the companies seek to boost sales and revenue while 16% analyze big data to increase cost efficiency.

Getting a glimpse into the future to identify and tap new business potential seems to play a minor role. Far less than half of the survey’s respondents (41%) made changes to their business models or services in response to the results of a big data analysis. Just under one third of the enterprises addressed customers’ needs through individualized marketing activities despite the evaluation of large databases that were available. Merely 16% of the survey’s respondents use D&A to predict trends in their areas of business and just 14% have the necessary know-how or required capacities to tap the full potential of big data to promote their company’s success.

Current and potential future benefits of D&A

Operational level Current benefit Potential future benefit
Faster decision making
86% 9%
Improved dialog with customers 81% 13%
More accurate decision making 80% 18%
Individualized marketing 31% 62%
Identification of new revenue streams 24% 73%
Prediction of future market trends 16% 80%


Strategic level Current benefit Potential future benefit
Greater employee satisfaction 77% 13%
Enterprise-wide actionable insights 72% 23%
Better-targeted products 70% 25%
Reduced business risks 67% 30%

Future potential of D&A use

84% of the enterprises feel that the most actionable area lies in optimizing their evaluation methods while two thirds of the respondents want to extend their use of D&A to additional areas of business. Around half of the companies aspire to improve their expertise in the use of big data and 28% indicated their intent to invest in young talent that knows how to put big data to optimal use.


Actionable areas from a company perspective
Improve data analysis
Increase adoption across the business
Improve data capture
Build understanding of how to use D&A
Hire or invest in young talent to optimize D&A capabilities


Companies aspiring to leverage D&A to boost their success need to invest in the right talents and resources; in order to successfully analyze big data, you first need to have the right skills and analytics techniques in place.

Embedding the targeted big data analytics as an integral component of the corporate strategy is equally important. After all, the right D&A strategy can play a pivotal role in promoting growth, reducing business risks and improving business performance.

KPMG has formulated eight concrete, recommended courses of action for Swiss companies based on the results of the study:

  1. Address the issues you are facing: Most clients we work with do not ask for a D&A solution; they ask for a solution to a specific business problem. Understanding your biggest issues will direct you to where you can best focus your D&A capabilities.
  2. Understand that the insights do not come from data alone: They come from analyzing the data and working across silos to map back to the issues and challenges the business is addressing. D&A is a team game.
  3. Go beyond point solutions: Transcend individual projects to move towards an overarching enterprise-wide data-driven culture that underpins investment decisions.
  4. Define what value you are looking for: What is it you want to achieve? Is it reduced cost? Better management of risk? Improved customer experience? The reality is that “value” differs depending on the issue you are dealing with and its relative importance to the business.
  5. Focus on customers: Ask yourself how to use new forms of data and algorithms to automate decision making in order to bring greater customer service and expand your capacity to transact profitably with customers.
  6. Ask the right questions: Don’t do D&A just for the sake of doing it. Prioritize your insights and understand their potential value (not only in terms of the “size of the prize”, but also speed and complexity).
  7. Measure your success: Use your successes and evidence of the value created to fund more projects and share your expertise and knowledge across the organization.
  8. Engage early with stakeholders: Articulate the value of D&A to the business and to investors who increasingly see D&A as a transformative strategy, not simply as a way to bring greater insight to your existing business problems.

© 2017 KPMG Holding AG is a member of the KPMG network of independent firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss legal entity. All rights reserved.

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