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Data initiatives stutter

News, 23 January 2015

SAN DIEGO: Many businesses have invested in gathering data but are failing to convert that into insights according to a new survey which also says chief executives tend to have a rose-tinted view of how their data initiatives are proceeding.

A global study sponsored by data analytics business Teradata analysed the views of 362 senior executives holding a variety of roles, including 16% in marketing and sales, across North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Almost six in ten (57%) thought their company did a poor job of capturing and disseminating important business data. There was little disagreement that access to necessary data and the ability to convert it into actionable insights are the greatest obstacles to data adoption and utilisation.

But there was a perception gap at the top level as to how this was being managed. Some 47% of CEOs believed that all employees have access to the data they need, while only 27% of all respondents agreed that they do.

Similarly, 43% of CEOs thought relevant data are captured and made available in real time, compared to 29% of all respondents.

And CEOs were also more likely to think that employees extract relevant insights from data – 38% of them hold this belief, as compared to 24% of all respondents and only 19% of senior vice presidents, vice presidents and directors.

Such disparities, said Teradata, impede success and imperil the competitive advantage companies hope to realise.

Even within data-driven companies there were issues around access to that data. Eight in 10 senior vice presidents, vice presidents and directors agreed that data were unequally available, while 42% of all respondents said access to data was cumbersome and not user-friendly.

Teradata identified several factors driving the top-performing companies, which were more likely to have data initiatives launched and driven by their corporate leadership and to have a centralised data and analytics group responsible for introducing and implementing data initiatives.

They were also twice as likely to have a culture of creativity and innovation and to share information quickly and freely.

"The survey is clear that organisations succeed when the data-driven vision and leadership are shared, and the benefits of data initiatives are consistently tracked, promoted, and most importantly, linked to corporate goals and business results," said Chris Twogood, vp/products and services marketing, Teradata.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff