85% of organisations see data as one of the most valuable assets to their organisation, but a lack of understanding is hampering success.
UK, February 18 2020 – The annual Global Data Management report, which surveyed 1,100 data practitioners and data-driven business leaders globally, found that businesses are still struggling to incorporate meaningful data insights into day-to-day business processes. However, organisations are starting to evolve management practices to better leverage data and improve business performance.
The research shows that a data skills gap has emerged, as many organisations lack the necessary skills and resources to make the most of data they hold. Data literacy, the ability to read, work with, analyse, and form arguments with data, is seen by 84% of organisations as a core skill that all employees must have in the next five years.
The vast majority (85%) of businesses said data was one of their most valuable assets, and 36% said data literacy was crucial in order to future-proof the business. To address this issue, 30% have a formal data literacy programme in place and 36% say they are planning to establish one in the next year.
The report also found that data debt—the cost attached to poor governance of data in a business—is a challenge for 78% of organisations, with 28% overall saying it is a significant problem. Data debt stems from a lack of data understanding or poor legacy data management practices, often resulting in distrust in information. Two in five organisations say individuals within the business do not trust data insights, but without this, businesses cannot harness the power of their data.
Michael Kilander, Global Managing Director, Data Quality, at Experian, said: “Over the last decade, it’s clear that data has increasingly become a critical asset in helping businesses thrive, and therefore, there’s a strong desire to take advantage of the opportunities data enables in driving better customer and financial outcomes. Unfortunately, a rising level of data debt and a data skills shortage are converging to make data insights harder to achieve.”
“However, this year’s research highlights more businesses recognising these challenges and initiating the changes necessary to gain insights from their data. For some, this starts with equipping their workforce with the necessary skills-set to be able to manage data. Importantly, by creating a culture where sharing data knowledge and tools is the norm, these responsibilities can be distributed across a data-literate workforce, freeing up valuable time for your data specialists to be truly innovative and drive success.”
However, despite this growing awareness and actions taken, businesses have not yet fully translated into the results companies want to see. More organisations are starting to see poor data influencing their initiatives. Sixty-six percent say a backlog of data debt is negatively affecting new data initiatives, such as machine learning, AI or analytics. This means that many companies (33%) are not seeing the expected returns on the investments they are making.
Despite this, many organisations (76%) have no strategy in place to address data debt issues, although 64% say they plan to address it. To address the challenge, organisations must invest in data quality using a cross-team approach that breaks up siloes. Without data quality standards, checks, and processes to manage how data is captured, maintained, and leveraged, data debt will continue to accrue.
To help businesses start addressing these challenges, Experian has recently launched a new version of its flagship data quality and enrichment platform, Experian Aperture Data Studio.
The updated data quality suite focuses on increased security, user collaboration and ease of use, along with machine learning powered automation. The tool is designed to support every type of user across a business to leverage the most consistent, accurate, and holistic views of data to successfully manage customer data projects with confidence.
About the Global Data Management Report
Experian conducted a survey to look at global trends in data management. This study looks at how data practitioners and data-driven business leaders are leveraging their data to solve key business challenges and how data management practices are changing over time.
Produced by Insight Avenue for Experian in October 2019, the study surveyed more than 1,100 people across six countries around the globe: The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Brazil, and Australia. Organizations that were surveyed came from a variety of industries, including IT, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, business services, financial services, healthcare, public sector, education, utilities, and more.
A variety of roles from all areas of the organization were surveyed, which included titles such as chief data officer, chief marketing officer, data analyst, financial analyst, data engineer, data steward, and risk management. Respondents were chosen based on their visibility into their organization’s customer or prospect data management practices.