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Analytic Technology Supports Organizational Growth in Down Economy
Tom Davenport Study, "The Rise of Analytical Performance Management" Reveals How Corporate Leaders Are Blazing a New Trail

by Faye Merrideth, www.sas.comMonday, September 8, 2008

CARY, N.C., Sep 08, 2008 - In early August 2008, some companies announced reduced profits anywhere from 28 to 200 percent. But struggling companies considering restructuring, downsizing or selling off assets may have better alternatives. Independent research announced by SAS, the leader in business intelligence and analytics, reveals ways analytic technology can help organizations grow, even in a down economy.

Tough economic times demand improved organizational performance. Performance management can boost competitive advantage by identifying what drives value, improving agility and optimizing resource usage. Employing analytics, organizations can leverage financial and nonfinancial indicators, thus moving from gut reaction to fact-based decisions.

Professor Tom Davenport's latest study, The Rise of Analytical Performance Management -- based on company interviews and a global survey -- reveals a clear progression of company activities with regard to analytical performance management. They range from prosaic (inability to file required financial reports) to highly sophisticated (incorporating analytical performance management into decisions and actions).

"Cutting costs for short-term impact without understanding what drives value or profit could threaten long-term competitiveness," said Davenport, who holds the President's Chair in the Information Technology Management Division of Babson College. "In fact, very few companies employ analytical performance management. This study cites winning examples from Hilton Hotels, Harrah's, Best Buy, Victoria's Secret, Sears and Toronto Dominion. Using analytics, executives at these companies are learning what factors truly drive their financial performance, and maximizing those factors in their businesses."

More than 40 percent of survey respondents are "definitely moving in a more analytical direction" on performance management. Another 28 percent say they would like to become more analytical. Results suggest that, given better tools, more widespread awareness of benefits, and greater understanding of methods and approaches, substantially more organizations will practice analytical performance management in the future.

"Performance challenges are cropping up faster and faster," said Davenport. "Companies have increasing amounts of performance data, but they need to take better advantage of it. Analytics can help decision makers identify key business drivers so they can leverage opportunities and mitigate threats faster than competitors."

Jonathan Hornby, Director of Performance Management Marketing at SAS, concurs. "Through implementing SAS for Performance Management at more than 1,500 customer sites, we've learned that a good place to start is using analytic technology to help translate strategy into operational objectives, measures, targets and initiatives."

SAS' turnkey solutions for vertical markets target financial services, life sciences, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and others. SAS targeted business solutions such as SAS(R) for Performance Management support enterprise intelligence, customer intelligence, financial intelligence, supply chain intelligence and more.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. With innovative business applications supported by an enterprise intelligence platform, SAS helps customers at 44,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW (R).

Faye Merrideth
919-531-4261
Faye.Merrideth@sas.com
Visit the SAS Press Center
www.sas.com/presscenter

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