The evolution of data brings both promise and heartache to business leaders and communicators. Even though data aspirations are high across Global 2000 enterprises, only a mere 5 percent of C-level executives have a high degree of confidence in the data they have, new research from analyst firm HFS Research reveals. While data investments are poised to accelerate, the report found that urgent action is needed to deliver the quality data needed to achieve business viability.
The survey of 100 C-level executives and resulting report, Bad Data is Killing Your Business Transformation Efforts: A C-Suite Guide to Stop Talking and Start Doing, in partnership with enterprise data management firm Syniti, found that even though respondents possess an awareness of the importance of data and claim architectural maturity, the vast majority of global enterprises are behind on effective data management practices. In fact, only 23 percent of respondents use a consistent and policy-aligned data strategy at scale across the entire organization. Further, nearly half of the respondents agreed that “they are significantly under-utilizing their data resources due to a lack of an effective data management strategy.”
“The cost of bad data can be staggering, but most people don’t personalize it. If you talk to a C-level executive, they’ll say they have an inventory problem or their supply chain has issues,” said Kevin Campbell, CEO at Syniti, in a news release. “After thousands of projects, we know that almost 90 percent of the time it’s caused by a data problem. Solving this faster and better than competitors is instrumental to outperforming them.”
Bad data management can be costly
The research also found that the cost of not having an effective data management strategy in place can be incredibly costly. Half of the companies that had implemented data management at scale are projected to achieve 10 percent or more revenue growth, which is more than three times the average. From the survey, it’s clear that effective data management is directly linked to positive business outcomes. In addition to revenue, good data management also allows businesses to better mitigate risks and create better customer experiences, among other benefits.
As such, enterprises are ready to accelerate investments to get more from their data. Data integration, including enterprise resource planning and application migration (42 percent), process automation (42 percent), and data visualization (41 percent) are currently the top three investment areas related to data management.
Looking two years ahead, companies will invest more in security and data protection (50 percent), support for artificial intelligence and automated machine learning (41 percent), and advanced analytics and predictive modeling (40 percent). This evolution in investment priorities reinforces the urgent need for companies to implement strong data management strategies and a robust underlying data infrastructure to enable value-added activity that drive positive business outcomes. Otherwise, companies will struggle to remain competitive in today’s data-driven business landscape.
“Data has quickly become the world’s most strategic resource during the pandemic,” said Phil Fersht, CEO and chief analyst at HFS Research, in the release. “Senior leaders need to make their core data ubiquitously available, accessible, and mineable—embedding a mindset to inspire their employees to work together to make it possible for their organizations to flip their business models to exploit these seismic market changes.”
The HFS-Syniti study on data strategy was completed in January 2021 from a sample of 100 c-level executives across Global 2000 enterprises.