Unexpected events – unparalleled opportunity
While many industries had been preparing for some type of volatility, no one predicted the global pandemic and the scale of economic and social disruption it would cause. One outcome of the pandemic has also been the acceleration of transformational projects, such as cloud migrations or moving to digital consumer journeys. Organisation’s focus on data has also grown, and as it moves up the Board agenda, organisations start to understand the value of this strategic asset and the power it has to drive performance.
But is the data ready for the challenge it is now being set?
The correlation between data maturity and trust
While becoming data-driven can provide a multitude of benefits for organisations, from an improved customer experience to better decision-making and increased innovation, many organisations still struggle to leverage data to achieve a competitive advantage.
Experian’s research discovered that 55% of business leaders say they lack trust in their data assets, hurting their ability to be fully data driven. Organisations surveyed said that they believed up to one third of the data they hold and use on a daily basis could be inaccurate. These statistics highlight the disparity between where organisations should be and their current state of data maturity.
The level of trust in data exhibited by our respondents differs depending on the data quality approaches they have taken. Organisations with the highest level of data quality maturity, those who have clear data ownership and where data quality is monitored as part of their standard business practices, are more likely to trust their data. Organisations with lower data quality maturity, those with little data ownership and only ad hoc approaches to data quality, unsurprisingly, often lack trust in their data.
However, organisations are optimistic about their data quality. Sixty-three percent believe the overall quality of the data in their organisation has improved in the last 12 months. A sign perhaps that increased focus is beginning to turn the tide.
Organisations struggling with agility
One of the biggest challenges for organisations during the pandemic has been their inability to be agile, to be able to quickly pivot and act on decisions around the market, digital strategy, and operational tactics. 62 percent of organisations admitted that a lack of agility in data processes hurt their response to changing business needs.
Again we saw a clear correlation between increased data maturity and an organisation’s ability to react to changing circumstances (like a global pandemic) in an agile fashion. Those with poor data quality and a lack of ownership and accountability around their data processes were predominantly the organisations that expressed their inability to be agile enough.
Data, the strategic asset
The pandemic has certainly been a moment in time when organisations have stopped and assessed every angle of their operations. Businesses may have previously underestimated the value of their data and as a result not fully leveraged it to drive competitive differentiation.
A whopping 72 percent of respondents said that better data insight could have helped improve their response to the pandemic. That’s a sobering statistic. 74 percent of organisations say they are now taking more responsibility for data quality than before the pandemic. Testament to the increased awareness and importance data is being given as a core asset that can improve operational performance.