December 2021 Dresner Advisory Update on COVID19 Impacts to Businesses, Projects, and Budgets

As the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic create business planning and execution uncertainties, Dresner Advisory Services’ primary research shows that companies increasingly see business intelligence (BI) projects based in quality data and advanced analytics as resources that will help navigate new paths to revenue and customer service today and act as a hedge against continuing global economic weakness.

Our latest data, from survey responses compiled in the fourth quarter of 2021, indicate notably less but still significant and ongoing business impacts due to COVID-19, with a continuing trend toward lessening severity, especially when compared to the data from early 2020. Although sustained revenue and customer losses remain the most prevalent business impact, organizations with these no longer represent a majority. Furthermore, almost every industry reports notably fewer instances of revenue losses in 4Q21.

Business challenges of this era represent an opportunity for Data Leaders to create, seed, advance, and evangelize for a maturity-level advancement in BI capabilities. Respondents indicate more positive activity around BI and analytics projects in 4Q21, with organizations reporting all-time high numbers for launching new projects and moving forward on projects without delay, along with a steep drop in the number of temporarily delayed projects (to an all-time low).

Data Leaders need a slogan or viewpoint that sets the narrative for how the organization thinks about the BI investments and what it means for changing operations. This narrative needs to reflect the realities of the current challenges and create a future ideal to maintain progress to a goal. We see organizations face difficult operating conditions by “hunkering up.” In contrast to the usual “hunker-down” concept of safe hiding, hunkering up reflects the need to apply discipline and agility to ensure both current survival and future growth.
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