Businesses use less than two thirds of their data brain

A new report from Appsbroker & CTS shows lack of timely and accurate data is leading to missed reporting deadlines, customer complaints, and bad decisions.

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Appsbroker & CTS, has released a new report showing that IT leaders are still struggling to get full value from their ‘data brain’ – the data an organisation captures and analyses to drive business value.

Most (91%) of the 150 UK IT leaders surveyed said they have a specific mandate from their board or executive team to make their organisation more data-driven and data-centric. However, almost three quarters (73%) still struggle to transform data into delivering significant business value. Key findings include:

· Not firing on all cylinders: Businesses are using less than two fifths (39%) of their data brain – with 69% admitting to hoarding data in data lakes and using just a fraction of it.

· Data friction persists: 88% of organisations said they face hurdles to becoming data-driven, with the top ranking issues being IT and data complexity, legacy systems, and a lack of skills and resources.

· Data citizens left out in the cold: 87% of respondents think empowering citizen developers will help businesses overcome the data skills gap, but 81% lack the skills and know-how to enable data citizens.

This lack of access to timely and accurate data has serious ramifications for businesses, as 39% confirm they have overspent or underspent on projects. And as far as they are aware, 37% of respondents have made decisions based on inaccurate data, and 36% have made inaccurate forecasts - although the true amount could be even higher. Furthermore, 31% have suffered customer complaints, 31% have delayed product or service launches, 27% have missed reporting deadlines (including businesses from heavily regulated sectors such as financial services), and 25% have missed revenue opportunities.

Matt Penton, Head of Data and Analytics at Appsbroker & CTS, comments: “Leaders are using data for big business-defining decisions, so they’d better be confident that information is right. Reporting bad numbers can have very serious and public repercussions, and customer complaints can quickly lead to churn. Unless you’re selling grated unicorn horns, customers can and will go elsewhere. These are the tangible costs that can sink a company when data is used ineffectively.”

IT leaders reported using over 30 different data sources on average. As the volume and complexity of data architecture increases, many businesses are struggling to keep pace:

· Less than half (46%) of IT projects that rely on data run on time, within budget, and to the intended scope – a source of frustration, stress, and cost for internal teams.

· Despite the move to more open technology stacks and APIs, 81% of IT leaders say integration issues still plague the IT industry – with 79% lamenting that “it’s near impossible to get a single organisational view.”

· 76% say the complexity of their data architecture is increasing exponentially. As a result, 85% say associated costs are increasing every year, and 69% say it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

While complexity will inevitably continue to grow, Penton argues this doesn’t have to result in ballooning costs and confusion – simplification is the key: “Don’t try to boil the ocean – start with a smaller data set and then expand to ensure you are getting things right, and doing it in a timely manner. Complexity isn’t going away, but automation, common tooling, low code, and no code can make it easier to manage data. By taking a structured and realistic approach, speaking with experts, and deploying the right tools, every business can unlock the power of their data brain.”

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