COVID is forcing businesses to make faster decisions—yet most rely on outdated data

by | Oct 15, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

We’ve been focusing on the data analytics obstacles that communicators are struggling to overcome, and newly released research from high-performance analytics database Exasol reveals that while 84 percent of organizations are under increasing pressure to make faster decisions as a result of COVID, more than half (58 percent) are making decisions based on outdated data and lack access to real-time insights.

The report, Accelerating Data-Driven Decision Making: 5 Ways to Turn Crisis-Mode into Business as Usual, further reveals that 63 percent of respondents confirm that daily insights are needed to make informed business decisions, but these are hampered by long query run times; 75 percent of respondents have to wait between 2 hours and a full day for a query to come back, and only 15 percent of respondents’ query run times are between 15 and 60 minutes. As a result, more than half (56 percent) believe they can’t make informed decisions based on their organization’s data.

COVID is forcing businesses to make faster decisions—yet most rely on outdated data

“As a healthcare, retail, or financial services business you cannot afford to make decisions based on yesterday’s data,” said Rishi Diwan, chief product officer of Exasol, in a news release. “If the pandemic has made one thing clear it’s that business conditions can turn on a dime, yet 6 in 10 businesses find themselves saddled with decision-making infrastructure that is just not responsive enough.”

COVID is forcing businesses to make faster decisions—yet most rely on outdated data

According to the research:

  • Around half (51 percent) believe their organization’s data infrastructure will need improvements in order to help them recover from macro or micro economic challenges.
  • The top areas highlighted for performance improvement include data literacy (84 percent), data infrastructure (55 percent) and data quality (33 percent). However, 85 percent report action being taken to improve literacy across the business, which is an encouraging sign.
  • Of the 36 percent of organizations that have increased the size of their decision-making teams during the COVID-19 pandemic to compensate the long time-to-insights, 86 percent have experienced an increase in decision-making speed.
  • More than two thirds of respondents (69 percent) reported receiving a higher number of data analytics requests from both multiple business departments and their end-users in recent months.

COVID is forcing businesses to make faster decisions—yet most rely on outdated data

Going forward, 45 percent of respondents agreed that demand for data analytics will continue to rise

While the bulk of these requests is expected to come from marketing, operations and sales, demand from all areas is expected to increase, adding to the urgency for organizations to review their data-driven decision-making capabilities.

“One way that organizations compensate for the long time-to-insights during the COVID-19 pandemic is by expanding the number of people with decision-making authority,” said Mathias Golombek, chief technology officer at Exasol, in the release. “Our research clearly shows that organizations want to increase their speed and agility regarding data-driven decisions. Data-democratization and self-service analytics across the organization are the ultimate goal, but existing legacy systems are struggling with these workloads. That’s where a reduction of query response times from hours to seconds is a game changer.”

COVID is forcing businesses to make faster decisions—yet most rely on outdated data

“If you want to evolve towards a data-driven agile enterprise, you need to start with your existing data infrastructure. Not only must it be set up to support your future growth, but it should also enable data democratization,” said Philip Howard, research director at Bloor Research, in the release. “You should also look at whether your infrastructure can deliver the time to insight—the performance—that you need. Can it scale across all your knowledge workers? Because if it doesn’t do all of these things, then it’s not supporting your business goals and you need to think about changing it.”

COVID is forcing businesses to make faster decisions—yet most rely on outdated data

Download the full report here.

The report is based on a global survey of 2,500 data decision makers and reveals ample pessimism among data and IT professionals regarding the extent to which current infrastructure set-ups can power a crisis recovery.

COVID is forcing businesses to make faster decisions—yet most rely on outdated data

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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