CEOs Pursue Data and Analytics for Stakeholder Engagement

PWC’s Global CEO Survey highlights the strategic importance of Data and Analytics for achieving wider stakeholder engagement.

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PWC released the 19th Annual Global CEO Survey yesterday (1/20/2016) ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The latest edition of this annual survey was conducted during the last quarter of 2015 and was based on responses from 1,409 CEOs across 83 countries.

The key finding was that 66% of CEOs see more threats today (and are less confident of the growth prospects of their company in 2016 as compared to 2015), primarily due to the state of global economy and geopolitical tensions.

Shifting our focus on data analytics, here are the key takeaways:
  • Data and analytics will drive wider stakeholder engagement
  • Personal data security / cyber security is a significant concern
  • Technological advances will lead business transformations over the next five years

One of the critical success factors for businesses is to keep today’s hyper-connected and technologically advanced customers engaged with companies’ brands. 55 percent of CEOs are concerned about a lack of consumer trust in their businesses today, compared to 37 percent three years ago.

Understanding the complex and evolving needs of these customers is essential to stay engaged with them. Within the large portfolio of advanced technological systems, CEOs are relying the most on Data and Analytics. Sixty-eight percent CEOs believe the greatest return for stakeholder engagement will be generated by Data and Analytics. Thirty percent favored Personal Data Security for the same purpose.
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To add some context to these figures, here is an excerpt from last year’s CEO Survey showing responses to a related question:
While the interest and confidence in Mobile technologies and Cybersecurity has faded a bit, Data and Analytics continues to enjoy C-level backing. In 2016, CIO and CMO need to work together to make the best use of data analytics for a holistic and dynamic understanding of their customers (as well as workforce).

Cyber Security is amongst the top concerns for CEOs with 61% respondents considering it as a threat to their growth prospects. The concern about cyber security is particularly high in Insurance sector.
Looking at the next five years, 77% CEOs believe that Technological Advances will be the leading global trend impacting business transformations across industries.
The major trend that all industries face is the impact of technology on every single aspect of a company. Whether it’s your operational efficiency in applying technology to traditionally manual processes. Whether it’s enhanced intelligence, from big data analysis to help managing marketing, risk, product creation, or assessment of ideas … technology is going to lead to sea changes in how companies are organized and run across all industries, and ours is no different.
- Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America Corporation, US

One of the biggest challenges in optimizing the societal value of R&D and innovation is the adoption and operationalization of newer technology. This is where the ‘Digital native’ companies (organizations that have grown up in the digital world) have a significant competitive advantage through a comprehensive set of online data about their entire business, integrated with feedback response loops for continual, dynamic assessment and improvement.

In summary, there is a clear and steady shift at C-level towards adapting a data-based, scientific mindset for all key decisions, including those related to things as complex as managing wider stakeholder expectations. Data and analytics will also play a major role in digitizing and instrumenting business processes to improve efficiencies, recognizing and accounting for hidden costs, and creating greater transparency throughout organizations.

The complete survey is available for download on PWC website: