Nottingham - Nine out of ten UK organisations believe analytics proficiency will be a competitive advantage by 2023. However, many are failing to maximise the value of transformative Business Intelligence (BI) with 96% of businesses claiming their software investments remain untouched, according to research commissioned by MHR Analytics, a provider of financial performance management and business intelligence consultancy. This ‘shelfware’ is costing UK businesses £5.7 billion - an average of approximately £159 per work desktop user.

Surveying senior IT decision makers in both the public and private sectors, MHR Analytics found that only four percent of businesses are actively using every software licence purchased; with 20% of respondents stating that more than a quarter of their BI software is lying idle on a shelf. Often, this waste is accumulated due to housekeeping issues with IT inventory management; software is not meeting expectations or has been superseded by other tools and there is a lag of removing it from the system; and/or issues caused by licensing arrangements.

This suggests that powerful tools are being ignored or under-utilised and organisations are missing out on a valuable stream of business insights despite software being present within the system.

The wasted potential does not end there. While an organisation using BI software will have a thirteen times average ROI, almost two-in-five senior IT decision-makers (39%) say their organisation has failed to reap the benefits of investment in Business Intelligence tools, rising to 67% for those working for large organisations with 5,000 or more employees.

64% of business leaders in organisations using powerful Business Intelligence software claim it has given them a competitive edge. Not only does it help make sense of data, enabling faster, more confident decision-making but it also offers rapid, self-service access to hidden insights into performance, data patterns and relationships. This enables businesses to create more accurate reports, powerful visualisations and providing answers to questions that are hard to achieve using manual collation methods.

Nick Felton, Senior Vice President at MHR Analytics, said: “BI software that remains in the cupboard as ‘Shelfware’ are a major waste of resources and business potential. Business intelligence software makes decision-making five times faster through revelatory insights that enable the transformation of an organisation. IT leaders need software and implementation partners who understand their needs better, match their exact requirements and are ready to provide the right level of training.

“To ensure organisations use and get the most value from their BI software they should have a good understanding of their software needs before approaching BI vendors or their distributors, engage a partner that has a good track record in implementation and training, and make sure end-users see the value of the new software before it is purchased.  IT should also have oversight on any plans to buy BI software to avoid duplication of capabilities with existing solutions, while getting asset-tracking up to speed will provide more visibility to what is actually being used and deliver the information needed to renegotiate lower licence numbers at renewal time.”

MHR Analytics is hosting a free webinar to help organisations bridge the gap between investment in BI and return on investment. To register, or to find out more about how MHR Analytics can help organisations accelerate their path to data maturity and achieve the full gains of planning analytics, ready to face any scenario, visit