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Data and analytics initiatives may underpin every digital transformation initiative, but can these programs be trusted? A new survey from KPMG shows that even those running the programs don't always trust them.
Data and analytics initiatives may be a central part of digital business transformations, but that doesn't mean that top executives trust these efforts, even within their own organizations.
A new report commissioned by KPMG and conducted by Forrester Consulting finds that nearly half (49%) of data professionals surveyed said that they believe their C-level executives don't fully support their organizations' data and analytics strategies.
That finding marks a disconnect between the thinking that calls for investment in data and analytics, which KPMG says is "now central to business decision making," and what KPMG says are "significant questions [that] are starting to emerge about the trust that we place in the data, the analytics, and the controls that underwrite this new way of making decisions."
Organizations don't trust their analytics because they don't understand them, Nadia Zahawi, director of global data and analytics for KPMG in the UK, told InformationWeek in an interview. Data and analytics often reside inside a "black box," where the data goes in and the insights come out, but stakeholders don't see the process that happens inside.
Stakeholders tend to have more trust in the data at the beginning of the process, before analytics are applied, Zahawi said.
Yet data and analytics are essential, according to the survey results. A full 70% of respondents said that data and analytics (D&A) are integral for understanding how products are used, and 69% said D&A are integral for understanding existing customers. Some 67% said that D&A are key for understanding what new products and services to develop.
[It's hard to know who to trust these days. Get help by reading Can You Trust Your Cloud Vendors' Employees?]
Respondents also said that data and analytics were essential for understanding internal business processes, giving insights regarding: business performance (cited by 71%), how to drive process and cost efficiency (68%), and how to drive strategy and change (70%).
Data and analytics were also crucial for managing risk and compliance, preventing problems such as fraud (cited by 70%), business risks (67%), and compliance with regulations (70%).