Brian Sommer at ZDNet has an excellent three part blog series about nimble verses the ossified companies and how each will use big data analytics technology. (Mr. Sommer defines ossified companies cease to develop and innovate and becoming stagnant or rigid in their ways.)
Brian says ossified companies could care less about responding to their market, therefore analytics will be a waste of time and money for them. Brian writes, "They are so rigid in their world view, their processes and business practices that they choose to ignore the very suggestions that could save their firms. They’ve not only ossified, they’ve turned deaf, too."
What are the characteristics of an ossified company? Brian says they lack "leadership, vision, a continuous change capability and a culture that rewards risk-taking and change over risk avoidance and slavish adherence to ever growing obsolete processes."
On the flip side of the coin, the nimble companies will live and die by analytics technology because responding to market conditions is part of their DNA.
A nimble firm experiments. Thomas Edison tried something like 6000 attempts at creating a long-lasting light bulb. Edison would have never been allowed 1% of those at most companies. A nimble firm can refine their analytics to isolate experimental results from those of other markets. The insights from these experiments will guide the eventual rollout of game-changing new solutions/processes/etc.
A nimble firm has many current hypotheses about the market. They use analytics to test, prove/disprove and refine these.
A nimble firm, and this is most important, can scale fast. When they see a new market opportunity, they test, refine and then use explosive energy to seize the awaiting market opportunity. These firms can exploit a new market opportunity with incredible speed and precision. They are not only capable of change, but, they can change their entire firm almost overnight.
I highly recommend reading all three posts.