Everybody wants to become a data-driven enterprise, and if you read many corporate statements or annual reports, it appears they’re already there. However, simply decreeing that things are to be data driven isn’t enough.
There’s a lot of work that needs to be done at the back end, and even more work at the front end. A recent report from PwC states that organizations may be overconfident about their abilities to deliver data insights. “Many organizations are confident that they have the capability to extract value from their information for commercial and operational advantage. Our analysis shows, however, that this confidence is largely misplaced. Close scrutiny of interviews conducted with 1,800 senior business leaders shows that very few are able to mine information to its full potential, and fewer still can make the most of the benefits that accumulate as a result.”
Organizations “lack the required skills, technical capabilities and culture to truly gain the greatest advantage from their information,” the PwC report’s authors contend, looking at data from 1,650 businesses. “Most businesses in our survey are failing to adapt to the new information dynamic, particularly in terms of the more sophisticated data analytics tools, software and reporting mechanisms – with Excel the dominant tool to extract value from information deployed by the majority.”
Data integration is a challenge for most organizations. A survey from Ventana Research, 62 percent struggle with accessing and integrating data in efforts to deliver predictive analytics. “Although technology for these tasks has improved, complexity of the data has increased through the emergence of different data types, large-scale data and cloud-based data sources,” says Tony Cosentino, analyst with Ventana Research.
The PwC report’s authors provide advice on becoming a data-savvy organization:
Provide clarity on roles, responsibilities and harness appropriate skills and tools. “Big data and analytics are often the domain of a dedicated function – usually part of IT – that has built up skills and resources around centers of excellence,” the PwC report states.