Report finds executives don’t trust internal data

Datawatch today announced the results of its new report from TDWI, which found company executives do not trust their internal data and analytical processes for effective business operations.

The report Reducing Inefficiency and Increasing the Value of Analytics and Business Intelligence found that only 11% of respondents said that they were satisfied with their firms’ investments in data and analytics projects to meet strategic goals for enabling data-driven decision-making or actionable customer intelligence.

David Stodder, senior director of TDWI Research for business intelligence (BI), commented: “Data is the lifeblood for critical business activities including risk evaluation, customer engagement, business performance management, regulatory requirements and more.

“When business users cannot access governed data, share it and collaborate on analytical outcomes, they are left feeling frustrated and ineffective.

“Business users need to move beyond spreadsheets and inefficient data preparation practices to a team-based intelligent analytical approach that enables smarter data stewardship.”

Data use and sharing sources

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Spreadsheets continue to be the preferred method for analytics. 89% of respondents state they input data into spreadsheets for analysis, yet 81% are concerned about data quality and consistency when using these files.
  • 65% of survey respondents say that users and analysts can create analytical dashboards with self-service applications; however, only 44% can find or access relevant data for the reports.
  • 20% responded that individuals can find trusted data sources without IT support, and only 18% can track data lineage to a source, which leads to a decay in analytical confidence.
  • Inefficiency related to data preparation tasks for analytics continues to be an issue with 48% saying that users are spending at least 61% of their time on finding and preparing data.
  • Tribal knowledge about data use and sharing sources is conducted in less formal, governed formats, including email (48%), word-of-mouth suggestions (45%) and internal and external networks (25 and 5% respectively). 5% are using data marketplaces for collecting this knowledge and curating trusted data sources.
  • Half of the respondents stated that their organisations do not have a formal data governance strategy, which directly impacts how data usage is tracked for a complete data lineage. This lineage is key to increasing trust in data, yet nearly 38% are only somewhat confident about the lineage of the data used in reports and analytics, and 18% report no confidence.
  • Data stewardship and sharing insights are essential to increasing trust in data, assisting in enforcing data governance policies and expanding collaboration across the enterprise, still, only 36% of respondents find that data stewards are helping with the selection of data sets. Additionally, 22% indicated they share feedback or rate the analytical outcomes shared across the company.

Analytical outcomes

Ken Tacelli, chief operating officer at Datawatch, added: “While many organisations talk about how they want to leverage data for operational processes, business insights and competitive purposes, the reality is many executives are leery of using analytical outcomes when they cannot be confident of where the data came from and how it was analysed.

“This disconnect has a profound impact on a business’ bottom line. A data intelligence framework can help organisations avoid these pitfalls and allow for team collaboration and data sharing in a trusted, governed environment.”

While organisations can collect data easily, it is the application of this data to a defined business strategy that is harder to implement, according to the research.

A complete data intelligence strategy enables business users to master data access and governance while improving team collaboration which is essential for achieving value from data and analytics projects and enabling trust in the analytical outcomes.

With only 16% of respondents stating that business users and analysts rate or comment on analytical outputs, data intelligent frameworks with stewardship and collaboration will be the competitive differentiator that improves efficiency, integrity and time to insight.

The survey collected responses from 263 business and IT executives and managers from enterprises of all sizes and varied industries.

Written from press release by Leah Alger