Picture the well-dressed CEO in a well-appointed office, fervently studying a sales report hot off the press. This scenario isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon, but the activity leading up to the delivery of that insight continues to evolve quite noticeably.

Executives will always be a main constituent in the consumption of insight, but Aberdeen Group’s research shows that senior leadership involved in the creation of that insight, either through steadfast support or personal activity, are reaping the benefits of more relevant, trustworthy, and actionable insight. Moreover, the research demonstrates three main findings that help us understand how this phenomenon translates to the mid-market.

1)Mid-market companies behave like large enterprises

While the overall company size and IT budgets are orders of magnitude larger within enterprises, these companies operate as a collection of smaller companies. Aberdeen’s research shows that on a site-by-site basis, mid-sized companies look very similar to large enterprises in terms of both the number of employees and IT budget.

2)Top executives don’t just consume, they create

Part of what enables upward mobility in the business world is intuition and the business “feel” born out of gut instinct. Today’s executives, however, lean on analytics to help make better, data-driven decisions. Moreover, they are more personally involved in accessing data and applying their own business rules to that data to create insight. In other words, they’re more likely to go beyond just consumption…and into the creation of insight.

3)Analytically inclined executives see results

Growth and efficiency. At the risk of oversimplifying, an executive will look at any undertaking through these two lenses. Can it uncover opportunities to expand and grow revenue? Can it identify process inefficiencies and enlighten us as to how we can do things better? For effective business analytics, the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes,” which further underscores why so many executives today have embraced analytical activity and data-driven decisions.

…and they’re leading the analytical charge

The research shows that mid-sized companies are more than twice as likely to have a senior executive leading the charge when it comes to analytics, as opposed to large enterprises that are almost twice as likely to have IT or data professionals driving the initiatives:

User Types Engaged with Analytics

The spread of analytical champions depicted above isn’t particularly surprising, nor does it highlight any particular cause for concern. These are larger companies with a greater breadth of skills and competencies for handling data, so it makes sense that there would be a fairly even distribution across the spectrum of users.

However, the research does imply a certain degree of agility in the mid-market, driven from the executive level. With more attention paid to the data environment and more initiatives spearheaded from the executive ranks, mid-market companies are better positioned to get the support and budget they need to make these projects more successful.

For the Mid-Market, the opportunity is there

Even the stodgiest, slowest moving organizations have woken up to the power of data-driven decision making. Today’s top executives no longer see analytics only as the purview of an analyst or IT worker bee. All the way up to the C-suite, senior managers today look to extract maximum value from their data, empower their employees with analytical capability, and deliver repeatable business results.

While this mindset can be applied in just about any business function, and within just about any size of organization, the research demonstrates how mid-market companies in particular are uniquely positioned to exploit analytics. Top performers in the mid-market rely on a strong foundation of organizational maturity and the right technologies in order to up their analytical game and drive organizational growth.

For more information, explore the full report here, available 100% free of charge for registered Aberdeen community members: BI Excels in the Mid-Market: A Nimbler Version of the Enterprise.

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