Keeping pace with customer expectations requires businesses to be armed with the right insights at the right time. In the 2015 State of Analytics report, Salesforce Research examines the rising prominence of analytics as a pillar of business operations.

We surveyed more than 2,000 business leaders, directors, and executives worldwide to discover areas where analytics usage is on the rise and understand how high-performing organizations approach analytics. Here are four key findings from our research:

  • Analytics jumps to the forefront of business strategy. In our research, 90% of high performers say analytics is absolutely critical or very important to driving the company’s overall business strategy and improving operational outcomes.

  • Analytics use cases expand dramatically. High performers are 3x more likely than underperformers to be heavy analytics users, gleaning value via analytics in 10 or more disciplines. On average, high performers analyze more than 17 different kinds of data — almost double the number analyzed by underperformers.

  • The era of real-time analytics begins. As the pace of business continues to escalate, business leaders increasingly feel the need for agility and real-time decision-making. High performers are 5.1x more able than underperformers to gather timely business insights from their current analytics tools.

  • High performers embrace a culture of analytics. Adopting analytics for the everyday user, top teams are 2x more likely than underperformers to say half of their employee base uses analytics tools. Highly successful companies are building a culture of analytics where information is instantly accessible from the boardroom to the front lines.

Download the 2015 State of Analytics report now for the complete research.