Are business leaders still relying on ‘gut instinct’ when it comes to data?

Despite the hype around big data and how the logic of analytics can drive business value, decision makers are still mostly relying on ‘gut instinct,’ suggesting that the hype still hasn’t translated to opportunity in the c-suite.

According to new research conducted by Rosslyn Analytics, only 23% of UK decision-makers closely align business strategy to data already held by their organisation. Less than half 44% of business leaders considered data a strategic asset, suggesting there is still some way to go for the importance of data to achieve widespread recognition.

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Charlie Clark, CEO, Rosslyn Analytics, called it ‘shocking’ that most organisations continue to make decisions without data.

‘Rosslyn Analytics believes business leaders need to renew their efforts and focus on improving the accessibility and quality of data required to make informed decisions that are aligned to business objectives,’ he said. ‘In today’s age of intelligent, self-service data technologies, there is no excuse for data not to be in the hands of decision-makers.’

When asked to identify the biggest barriers to using data, the single biggest challenge cited was that data was from too many sources and of different types according to 43% of the respondents. Poor quality of data came in a close second as the second biggest challenge to data being used within the organisation.

Only 40% of respondents believe their organisation effectively exploits its internal data to gain competitive advantage, and when asked to rate what type of data was most valuable to the organisation, ‘product data’ was considered, on average, the most valuable.

‘Customer data’ was rated as second most valuable type of data; ‘financial data’ and ‘spend data’ were seen as third and fourth most valuable respectively; ’employee data’ was seen as least valuable of the data categories.

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Rosslyn Analytics’ ‘Data: The Art of the Possible report provides practical advice for anyone who wants to tap into the potential of data to transform how they work.  The report details how data already held by an organisation can be enriched to provide tangible value. For example, by combining finance data with other types of internal and external data, the answers generated can propel growth, increase profitability and meet compliance standards. Enriching product data in a similar way will result in more efficient and more innovative product development.

‘Our research shows that only 30% of business leaders explore data with a set question,’ Clark continues. ‘Understanding data is key to achieving data-business alignment, where data not only informs business strategy but the business strategy also dictates the type of data owned by the organisation.’

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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