• Type: Press release
  • Date: 1/28/2014

Europe uses data and analytics to optimize costs – the Americas for innovations 

Technological advances in the area of data and analytics (D&A) will completely redefine the way we collect and analyze information in the future. A study conducted recently by KPMG International shows that way over half of the companies surveyed consider D&A to be crucially important for their own growth. In response to this development, KPMG has set up an investment fund in the amount of USD 100 million in order to provide the next generation of tools and approaches for effectively analyzing rapidly growing data streams.

Many companies are working on rethinking their current business models and reorganizing to stay competitive. With increasingly large volumes of data being collected every day, special attention is being given to this big data. After all, a company’s ability to continuously analyze large, unstructured data streams and use these to draw relevant conclusions for its own business operations can give it a vital edge and be a key factor in that company’s own ability to compete. According to the global study entitled "Going beyond the data" which was conducted by KPMG International in cooperation with FT Remark and based on interviews with 144 CFOs and CIOs of companies with revenues of USD 1 billion or more, 86% of those companies surveyed deemed data and analytics to be important, very important or crucial to their growth strategy.

Importance of data recognized

The study reveals that companies capable of identifying relevant issues at an early point in time generally make better decisions. Accurately analyzing and interpreting data could lay a solid foundation for that decision-making, a realization that most companies have already come to. According to the study, companies in the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas are much more aware of D&A-related issues than companies in Europe. While companies in Europe have also clearly recognized the importance of data and analytics, they still tend to be cautious when it comes to implementation. Here, too, a quarter of those interviewed expect data and analytics to play an important role in the future.

Importance of D&A for a company’s growth strategy

Importance of D&A for a company’s growth strategy


Regional differences exist with regard to how data is used, as well. Whereas companies domiciled in the Americas are more likely to use D&A for innovations to improve their products and services, companies located in Europe are mainly using the data to optimize processes and cut costs. This conclusion can also be seen reflected in responses received to the question of the extent to which customer data analyses were used to directly boost sales. 70% of those surveyed in the Americas indicated that they had increased sales by more precisely analyzing the customer data they collected. This response was provided by 64% of companies in the Asia-Pacific region and just 56% in Europe.


Increased sales through customer analyses

Increased sales through customer analyses

Large investments in D&A

Companies from a variety of different industries have already started adapting to an increasingly D&A-driven world – particularly those companies that find themselves confronted with large volumes of market-relevant data on a daily basis. These include not only financial service providers, telecoms and pharmaceutical companies but businesses from the consumer goods industry and retailers, as well. Modern technologies enable just rudimentary evaluations analyses of the enormous volumes of data collected, and even these are frequently extremely time consuming. That fact prompted all of the companies surveyed to respond that they plan to invest a considerable share of their sales on data and analytics in the next two years.

Core Swiss industries already carving out competitive advantages

There are already examples of companies that have succeeded in applying D&A to gain a competitive edge and create added value for the business.


  • In the consumer goods industry, data gathered through social media monitoring and observations of industry-specific Internet platforms and customer forums are evaluated systematically to improve product and marketing strategies.
  • More powerful data analyses are putting pharmaceutical companies in a position to much more swiftly identify relevant patterns in large volumes of data and thus optimize their research activities.
  • For telecoms providers, meaningful predictions of customer behaviors and needs lay a vital foundation for steering innovations. 
  • Using complex models to analyze financial and operational risks is a key issue among banks and insurance companies, one that will become increasingly important in light of the new solutions made possible by ‘big data’ and sophisticated D&A.

Identifying which data to collect is greatest barrier

The KPMG study reveals that the advantages of systematic D&A and its uses are known. Nevertheless, a few hurdles are still standing in the way of more widespread use. One of the difficulties of advanced data collection lies in a company’s ability to identify which business-related questions can even be answered with the help of these techniques. For 54% of respondents, the greatest hurdle is identifying which data to collect in the first place. Clarification is also needed to determine which technical capabilities and tools are required to precisely analyze and interpret the data (44%). With so many solutions available, one fundamental challenge lies in finding and implementing the right one to efficiently analyze data (38%).

Data security and privacy of central importance

When collecting and analyzing large volumes of data, other requirements exist that cannot be neglected. Data must be collected in compliance with existing laws, for instance. The current debate surrounding the benefits and risks of the unlimited collection and processing of data as well as cross-border surveillance by governmental intelligence agencies clearly illustrates what sweeping implications the global networking of information systems already has. "The near future will bring a significant increase in technological capabilities and in the next few years national governments, businesses and society will have to place an even greater focus on issues related to privacy protection", explains Ulrich Amberg, Head of IT-Advisory at KPMG Switzerland. "It is up to lawmakers and regulators to define binding conditions governing data collection and analysis and thus establish effective means to protect privacy."


KPMG invests USD 100 million around the world

Larger volumes of data are being generated in today’s fast-paced world than ever before. Businesses are under enormous pressure to analyze this data and put it to good use. KPMG International has set up an investment fund in the amount of USD 100 million in order to provide the next generation of tools and approaches for effectively analyzing rapidly growing data streams. The aim is to create data analysis solutions that let clients act more quickly in the new environment. Targets of acquisitions and strategic partnerships currently include organizations with a focus on data and analytics, technology developers and innovators, service providers and private equity firms.


Can Arikan

Can Arikan

Head of Media Relations

+41 58 249 55 71

Going beyond the data

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The study “Going beyond the data” conducted recently by KPMG International shows that way over half of the companies surveyed consider D&A to be crucially important for their own growth.

KPMG Capital: Investing in D&A

KPMG Capital
KPMG Capital focuses on investments and opportunities in the Data & Analytics space.
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