Five years ago, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) released Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.
In the years since, data science has continued to make rapid advances, particularly on the frontiers of machine learning and deep learning.
Organizations now have troves of raw data combined with powerful and sophisticated analytics tools to gain insights that can improve operational performance and create new market opportunities.
Most profoundly, their decisions no longer have to be made in the dark or based on gut instinct; they can be based on evidence, experiments, and more accurate forecasts.
As we take stock of the progress that has been made over the past five years, we see that companies are placing big bets on data and analytics.
But adapting to an era of more data-driven decision making has not always proven to be a simple proposition for people or organizations.
Many are struggling to develop talent, business processes, and organizational muscle to capture real value from analytics.
This is becoming a matter of urgency, since analytics prowess is increasingly the basis of industry competition, and the leaders are staking out large advantages.
Meanwhile, the technology itself is taking major leaps forward - and the next generation of technologies promises to be even more disruptive.
Machine learning and deep learning capabilities have an enormous variety of applications that stretch deep into sectors of the economy that have largely stayed on the sidelines thus far.
This research is a collaboration between MGI and McKinsey Analytics, building on more than five years of research on data and analytics as well as knowledge developed in work with clients across industries.
This research also draws on a large body of MGI research on digital technology and its effects on productivity, growth, and competition.
It aims to help organizational leaders understand the potential impact of data and analytics, providing greater clarity on what the technology can do and the opportunities at stake.