Survey: Majority of Québec Executives Overwhelmed by Information



    Poll also shows shortage of qualified staff, operating costs, and
    government taxes and regulations have potential to threaten Québec
    business prosperity

    MONTREAL, July 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The majority (59%) of Québec executives
say the amount of information they have overwhelms them, 78% believe their
staff could share information more effectively, and 72% say that they could
make more informed business decisions if they had the right tools in place to
analyze information more effectively. These are just some of the findings of a
recent Québec-based SAS / Léger Marketing survey released today.
    The survey also reveals that while 94% of Québec executives believe it is
important to have access to information and data to make better informed
business decisions, only a scant one in 10 say the information they get about
their department or business performance is always accurate and timely; only
one quarter (25%) of respondents feel the information they receive is always
useful.
    "In today's digital age, it is timely information, not time, that is
money," says Jean-François Ouellet, marketing professor, HEC Montreal.
"Because so much data is now available, companies that master turning data
into useful business information will have a definite advantage over those
that don't. This poll suggests that Québec executives understand that business
intelligence is a key to business success."

    Business Intelligence in the Workplace

    With the amount of information available in the workplace growing at a
rapid pace, the survey also indicates most Québec executives (76%) believe
that having competitive or business intelligence is essential for the success
of their business. Yet somewhat surprisingly, less than half (49%) responded
that their business currently uses business intelligence software to analyze
their data.

    
    In addition:

      - Two-thirds (66%) of the executives surveyed say their company could
        operate smarter with business intelligence tools.
      - Over half (56%) indicate that it is the CEO who currently possesses
        the most business intelligence information.
      - Marketing and public relations departments came out on top as having
        the most need for business intelligence information (21%), followed
        by sales (17%), and customer service (15%).
      - Surprisingly, only one in 10 respondents believe their finance and
        operations/ manufacturing departments rely most on business
        intelligence.

    "The key to business success is giving everyone access to timely and
actionable information," says Mario Ianniciello, director of eastern region,
SAS Canada. "Many executives view business intelligence as only a marketing
tool. In fact, a tremendous amount of return on investment happens when
finance and operations use business intelligence tools to analyze data and
make more effective business decisions. Information is a money maker in this
knowledge-based economy."

    What Keeps Québec Executives up at Night?

    The survey also revealed some big barriers facing Québec businesses.

      - The majority (54%) of Québec executives believe the biggest threat to
        the future of business in Québec is finding qualified staff, followed
        by labour & manufacturing costs (29%), and government regulations &
        taxes (29%).
      - One-in five believe the rising Canadian dollar and foreign
        acquisitions of Québec businesses are the biggest threats to the
        future of Québec business.
      - Workplace productivity is cited as the most important business issue
        for 36% of Québec executives, followed by controlling operational
        costs (33%), and providing a return on investment (27%).
      - One-in-four believe customer satisfaction and government regulations
        to be the most important business issues facing their organization.
        Another 16% view globalization/ competition from outside Québec to be
        the biggest threat. Multiple answers were allowed.
      - Most executives (63%) believe their company obtains its competitive
        advantage through the quality of their product or service.
      - Surprisingly, only 14% cite information technology as playing a key
        role in driving competitive advantage.

    "Globalization is creating new competitive pressures," explains Ouellet.
"In this day and age, companies must innovate as rapidly and use information
as efficiently as their competition just to stay in the race. Ultimately,
organizations need to use business analytics for true insight and forecasting
- it will be those companies that know where their business is going versus
just knowing what has happened that will come out on top." Ianniciello agrees.
"Québec companies need to leverage the data that is available both within and
outside their organizations because the competition certainly will. Without
the ability to leverage information more effectively, they may hit a brick
wall when they try to overcome key business issues."

    About the Survey

    The online survey was conducted for SAS Canada by Leger Marketing, between
May 23 and June 2, 2008. With a representative sample of 374 Québec
senior-level business decision makers, the executive survey is considered
accurate within +/- 5.0 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

    About SAS

    SAS is the leader in business intelligence and analytical software and
services. Customers at 44,000 sites use SAS software to improve performance
through insight from data, resulting in faster, more accurate business
decisions; more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers;
compliance with governmental regulations; research breakthroughs; and better
products and processes. Only SAS offers leading data integration, storage,
analytics and business intelligence applications within a comprehensive
enterprise intelligence platform. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers
around the world THE POWER TO KNOW(R). www.sas.com
    The Canadian subsidiary of SAS has been in operation for 20 years.
Headquartered in Toronto, SAS employs more than 200 people across the country
at its Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Québec City, and Montréal offices.
For more information, visit www.sas.com/canada.

    SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are
    registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and
    other countries. (R) indicates USA registration. Other brand and product
    names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright (C) 2008
    SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.
    




For further information:

For further information: Simon Falardeau, Capital-Image, (514) 739-1188,
poste 231, sfalardeau@capital-image.com; Visit the SAS Press Center:
www.sas.com/presscenter; SAS Canada Inc., (416) 363-4424, Fax: (416) 363-5399,
www.sas.com/canada

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