ASG Perspectives

Blog > May 2020 > ASG Survey Highlights Top Barriers to Realizing Full Value from Data

ASG Survey Highlights Top Barriers to Realizing Full Value from Data

Data is the most valuable asset that an organization has today—yet it hasn’t lived up to its promise. While “data-driven” has been tacked onto most industry terms, few organizations have used the full potential of data to drive business forward. From reaching regulatory compliance to informing business strategies, data-driven opportunity feels just out of reach.

Why aren’t businesses realizing full value from their data? To learn why, check out the results from a recent survey ASG did of 150 IT professionals from organizations with 500+ employees. The report, “Barriers to Success with Information-Powered Business: Bad Data Burdens the Modern Enterprise,” found that nearly half (45%) of respondents say their organization has not realized the full value of data.

Read on to learn the four top barriers holding organizations back from their data promise and what they can do to solve it.

  1. Organizations are Burdened with Bad Data

According to the report, bad data is rampant within the modern enterprise. Sixty-three percent of respondents believe inaccurate, outdated or otherwise “bad” data has been used to fuel business decisions in their organizations. Of those respondents, 64% say the use of bad data added costs. If users want to leverage information to drive business forward, the data must be good quality, trusted, governed and shareable. If organizations can’t trust their data, why would they use it to inform business strategies, customer programs or AI-enabled decisions? The quality of the input will determine the quality of the output.

  1. Users Cannot Find or Access the Data They Need
The top barrier preventing organizations from realizing full value from data is the inability to find and gain access to the right data. In fact, there is a significant prevalence of “dark data” – data that has been collected but not used to glean insights for decision-making. Thirty-eight percent of respondents believe a significant portion – half, most or all – of their organization’s data is “dark.” Another 50% say at least some of their organization’s data is dark. This finding shows that organizations are collecting data faster than they can analyze and leverage it. It also points to the importance of creating and automating an inventory of data assets.
  1. Data is Not Democratized

Leveraging data – especially given its rapidly growing volume – requires an abundance of human and IT resources. The task has far outgrown the bandwidth of the IT department. However, less than one-quarter (23%) of respondents say citizen data scientists or business users explore data for insights at their organizations. The findings also indicate that respondents believe their teams lack certain important skills, including 26% who wish their team had more business acumen to improve its data use. This skills shortage, and the general burden on IT, shows that a barrier still exists between data management and business use of data. The goal of the modern enterprise must be to democratize data, ensuring every business user can access, gather and analyze it.

  1. There is a Need for Mature Data Intelligence

Users do not have the tools they need to realize full value from data. Thirty-four percent of respondents say they spend 16-20+ hours per week manually finding, managing and gleaning insights from data. Additionally, more than half (57%) of respondents struggle to find the best data available for a project. This inefficiency is unsustainable—and unacceptable—in today’s fast-paced, data-driven world. Organizations need data intelligence tools to understand what data they have, where it came from and whether or not the data is trustworthy. Yet only 59% of respondents have a data inventory, which means four in ten don’t know what data they have. Less than one-third (29%) currently practice data lineage, which means they don’t know enough about their data to trust it. The report also shows a strong correlation between data use and data intelligence. Eighty-seven percent of respondents who know what data they have “often or always” use data to drive/inform projects.

Enterprises need to tap every resource available to thrive in today’s world, starting with their two most important assets: their data and their employees. For many, it will start by laying a foundation for data intelligence. Using solutions such as ASG Data Intelligence, organizations can create a mature data environment in which data is trusted and made available and usable. From there, employees can then be equipped to find, manage, govern and glean insights from it.

Download the full 2020 ASG survey report here to explore more findings.