Just 22 per cent of C Suite respondents say their companies have a strategy for "big data" – large databases of information they use to help make commercial decisions – although more are considering doing so in the future.
Companies in the service sector, where customer and market information is crucial, are the most active users, with almost half using some form of data analytics. Those who haven't say the costs can be prohibitive, or it is just not relevant to their business.
Webtech Wireless Inc. chief executive Scott Edmonds, whose Vancouver-based company makes technology to track vehicles, said some of his government customers are already using data from Webtech products o make public policy decisions. Still, he said, "it is at the green shoots stage."
Michael Bernstein, CEO of Toronto-based Capstone Infrastructure Corp., which owns power and utility operations around the world, said data analytics is really not a factor in his business. "But Canadian companies need to pay attention to these issues … because if we don't, our global competitors will."
Willy Kruh, global chair of consumer markets at consultants KPMG, said almost every company should be exploring data analytics. "Every business and every sector can benefit," he said, and it is "myopic" for Canadian companies not to embrace the concept.