Analytics is a slowing market. According to data from the Big Data and Business Analytics Observatory of the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, in fact, in 2020 a modest +6% was recorded against the much higher numbers of previous years: +23% in 2018 and +26 % of 2019.
Although the health emergency has highlighted the fundamental role of Big Data in the rapid definition of strategies and in the management of the crisis itself, many companies have had to reassess their investment plans.
Consequently, the gap has increased between mature companies, which, despite the climate of uncertainty, have accelerated or reinvented the transformation of processes in a data-driven perspective, and traditional ones, which have decided to stop or postpone investments.
The market, which reached 1.85 billion euros in Italy in 2020, has slowed down.
Analytics in Italy - where are we?
The Observatory report shows that 70% of large companies have carried out activities aimed at improving the collection and use of data, with a focus on the inclusion of new skills (in 58% of cases). According to the research, moreover, 43% have strengthened their work in the field of data science and 31% have registered internal improvements in terms of data-driven cultural change.
On the other hand, in terms of Data Governance, this is still secondary in more than half of the large companies, but companies with a dedicated structure are on the increase (with growth from 3% to 15%).
Finally, particularly relevant is the fact that 4 out of 10 large companies already have an Advanced Analytics strategy. Among these, 26% have operational projects and record strong demand for Data Science skills in the various functions and 16% have given rise to experiments in the last three years.
The situation changes when we consider so-called “immature” companies. According to data, these are mainly divided into three categories:
• Companies able to start analytics projects (19%)
• Companies that have approached the sector and have figures trained in Reporting and Visualization (27%)
• Companies still unaware of the potential of the sector (12%)
For the most part (92%) the development of the ability to integrate data from different sources is a priority, but 45% say they have put aside the projects related to the Analytics sector during the pandemic and only 30% have, instead, intensified data-driven work.
Big Data Analytics and PMI projects
The pandemic has not interrupted the process of approaching and developing SMEs' Big Data Analytics, which had started in 2019.
One in two has invested in the sector or plans to do so and 22% of small and medium-sized enterprises speak of a positive year in terms of awareness and enhancement of data.
• 32% of SMEs have not invested or started Analytics projects (compared to 38% in the previous year)
• 6% of SMEs have no assets but have invested in the sector
• 24% of SMEs deal with descriptive analysis (+6%)
• The percentage of companies that includes predictive analysis is stable (+38%)
Finally, taking into consideration 62% of SMEs that have active data analysis activities, only 38% deal with the integration of internal data, while 28% purchase external data.
In terms of professional roles:
• In 18% of companies, the roles dedicated to data analysis are internal to IT
• In 39% of companies these roles are distributed in the various company functions
• In 27% of companies, external expertise is used
• In 17% of companies there are no specialized resources (neither internal nor external)
The 2020 trends of the Italian market
During 2020, 52% of spending was concentrated on software, with a growth of +16% compared to 2019. Data Science Platform and Artificial Intelligence are the most important sectors. Services (28%) and infrastructural resources follow (20%). Finally, the Cloud Analytics budget grew by 24% and constitutes 19% of the spend.
As for market shares: banks are the first sector with 28%, followed by Manufacturing (24%), Telco and Media (14%), Services (8%), Large-scale distribution and Retail (7.5%) ), Insurance (7%), Utility (6.5%), PA and Healthcare (5%).
The slowdown in market growth recorded in 2020 did not, therefore, put a stop to the evolution of the sector and the adoption of data-driven solutions by companies. This is due to a new awareness of the value and usefulness of data (also because of the impact of 2020), which promises to evolve positively in the near future.