Data has been promised as the next big thing for decades. Across industries, companies prioritised learning how to enrich decisions with data and analysis. Each line of business has, in turn, extolled the virtues of data and analytics to improve their operations and add value.
But recently, Talend, a global leader in data integration and integrity, released the results of a survey that highlighted the challenges businesses face in becoming data-driven organisations and the solutions to these challenges.
It’s clear that business leaders know how important data is — two-thirds report that they use data every day. Yet 78 per cent of these leaders say they face challenges in using their data, and more than a third say they simply aren’t using it to make decisions.
Among the executives surveyed, the sales and marketing teams are the least data-driven departments. Nearly half of sales and marketing executives, 48 per cent, make the majority of the decisions with data. The finance department follows closely, with 44 per cent of finance executives reporting that they make the majority of their decisions without relying on data.
When asked about the challenges they face to use data effectively, more that half of executives, 58 per cent, identified ensuring data quality as a challenge.
Also, low trust in corporate data and a gap between those who produce and those who use data is a recipe for disaster. Failure to resolve data challenges also costs the business as a whole in the form of IT expenditures. 22 per cent of executives do not think that their company’s investment in data management is worth it.
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There’s a difference between data-saturated and data-driven. Companies have more access to data than ever before, but there’s very little way to make sense of it. Only half of the executives highly rate their ability to deliver the basics: timely, accessible, complete, and accurate data. Data management companies have been offering to solve these problems for years — but they’re focused on the mechanics of data like moving it and storing it.
“Our relationship with data is unhealthy. Only 40 per cent of executives always trust the data they work with, and more than a third of executives are still making decisions based on gut instincts,” said Christal Bemont, CEO, Talend.
“The reality of data is falling well short of the industry’s vision. Data management, which largely focuses on moving and storing data, doesn’t take into account the overall health of data. Therefore, in trying to manage data, companies are in fact creating digital landfills of corporate information. This has to change. Our vision of data health is the future because it recognizes fundamental standards for quality and reliability are critical for corporate survival.”
Data health is Talend’s vision for a holistic system of preventative measures, effective treatments, and a supportive culture to actively manage the well-being of corporate information. It is designed to allow companies to answer basic questions about their data that remain challenging for many to address — where it resides, who has access to it, whether it’s accurate, and how much it’s worth.
Data health would help organisations understand and communicate — in a quantifiable way — the reliability, risk, and return of this extremely critical business asset.
Customers report that a focus on data health is having a positive aspect on their business.