The data-driven decision nightmare

Whether its customer data, financial data or machine data, the insights that can be gleaned from an organisation’s data repository are invaluable in gaining competitive advantage, developing new products and services, and deciding the future roadmap for a business.

But are businesses really benefitting from data in the way that they should be?

Business leaders talk about analysing data to gain insights, making data-driven decisions and reaping the benefits of big data. But the reality is that many large organisations simply can’t move that quickly when it comes to data.

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In larger organisations with multiple departments, global offices and disparate IT systems, data often remains isolated with the department that is considered its owner. The finance department handles the accounting data whilst customer data stays siloed with the customer services and sales teams, for instance.

So that demand from senior leaders and other decision makers to see insights on the business means they may only be getting piece-by-piece snippets rather than the full picture of what’s going on in the organisation, leading to missed opportunities and hampering innovation.

It’s unsurprising that this is happening; over the last decade data and information has grown, both in volume and format, at a phenomenal rate. So much so that the average worker actually has no idea where information actually is.

In SnapLogic’s recent study on “The High Cost of Disconnected Data”, it found that over a fifth (21%) of workers were unaware of what data other departments actually held and one in six (17%) didn’t even know how many data sources actually existed within their organisation.

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In light of this, it’s not that surprising to learn that the average worker is spending more time searching for, acquiring, entering, or moving data than actually analysing and making decisions on it.

Workers spending time collecting some but not all data, and at the expense of possibly not incorporating it into their decision-making, hardly paints a rosy picture for a businesses’ data-driven strategies.

In fact, SnapLogic found that almost half of respondents (47%) believed disconnected data is negatively impacting their organisation’s ability to innovate, develop new products and services and get them to market quickly. In addition, their ability to engage, support, and meet the needs of customers (46%) is also negatively impacted.

So what’s all this lost time and resources, duplication of work and missed opportunities adding up to? $140 billion lost by businesses in the UK and US each year.

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The fact that so many organisations still struggle to manage and benefit from the data they have is highly concerning. New technology and services are coming out all the time and with it bringing new streams of data from which organisations can potentially benefit. Data is becoming more and more valuable to every organisation. But only when insights are gained, something that can’t be achieved if each stream of data is looked at in isolation.

Disconnected data is reaching the point where it is stopping organisations from running effectively and they need to be addressing this problem now before it’s too late.

After all, if companies aren’t able to innovate, provide a quality level of customer service, or deliver products to market in a timely manner, they’re simply not going to continue to be a successful business for much longer.


Sourced by Gaurav Dhillon, CEO of SnapLogic


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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