It’s sometimes a good idea to delay big decisions in today’s volatile economy. After many years of uncertainty, plenty of companies feel the best course of action is to stay hunkered down and weather the ongoing uncertainty as best they can. The smartest companies exploit economic uncertainty to gain competitive advantage. While their foes are weathering the storm, they make targeted investments to drive effectiveness and gain market share. Increasingly, the most effective tool in their arsenal is analytics.

Analytics is a well-established factor in decision-making for many businesses. Deloitte’s Analytics Advantage Survey found:

49% report they make better decisions now that they base them on hard data
16% say sales intelligence data allows for the better enablement of key strategic initiatives
10% report data has improved relationships with customers and business partners
9% report having a better sense of risk and ability to react to changes in the economic environment

Furthermore, 55% of businesses using analytics report significant or fair improvements to their competitive positioning as a result of data-based decision making and better sales intelligence, even in this volatile economy.

According the survey, the next step for successful analytics programs is using data to drive new product development and the creation of new service revenue streams – only 1% of respondents to the survey said they were using analytics in that way.

There is little reason to believe the economy as a whole or most sectors are going to stabilize any time soon, which means planning ahead is going to continue to be challenging. Instead of being content with the status quo, however, business can implement sales intelligence tools and use analytics to drive decisions about creating new products, improving marketing position, and leveraging unique strengths to beat their competition.

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