Some 36% of executives working with data still base their decisions on instincts. About 22% think their data investments aren’t worth it, and one third report that creating a data-driven culture within their business is a challenge.
These stats are part of the findings of a study released Tuesday from Talend, which focuses on data integration and integrity. The survey results highlight the challenges businesses face as they become data-driven, and examine possible solutions to these challenges.
Talend fielded the survey from March 24 through April 8, 2021, via Qualtrics, among a base of independent respondents to assess their ability to make data-driven decisions.
The survey involved 529 respondents worldwide -- all executives, with titles ranging from director to the C-suite, from medium-sized and large companies that have more than $10 million in annual revenue.
Lauren Vaccarello, Talend CMO, believes the reality of the data falls short of the industry's vision, and companies have been trying to solve the wrong problem.
“Data management focuses on the wrong problem,” Vaccarello wrote in an email to Search & Performance Marketing Daily. “Solutions need to progress from excelling at data management and storage, to playing a key and active role in ensuring reliability and integrity of data."
Talend fielded the survey from March 24 through April 8, 2021, via Qualtrics among a base of independent respondents to assess their ability to make data-driven decisions.
The survey involved 529 respondents worldwide. The respondents were all executives, with titles ranging from director to the C-suite, from medium and large companies making more than $10 million in annual revenue.
Since data has become a pervasive asset across organizations that is no longer limited to the IT department, all departments have been included in this survey. All industries are represented, with the largest representation from finance/insurance (25% of respondents), retail (20%), ICT (14%), and healthcare and pharmaceuticals (6%).
The data management market is estimated to be worth about $130 billion, according to Talend. it has attracted a lot of attention, according to the report -- but not the correct type of attention. Companies focus on mechanics, such as moving and storing data.
One surprising result that emerged from the survey is that among the executives surveyed, the sales and marketing teams are the least data-driven.
Some 48% make the majority of their decisions without data. They also are unaware where their data originates from, Vaccarello explains. “Executives are often looking at the same thing coming from different data sources,” she said. “This leads to real issues with not knowing which sources are accurate and not trusting your data.”
The finance department follows, with 44% of executives reporting that they make the majority of their decisions without relying on data.
“As a CMO, I know that data is critical to the success of marketing and business,” Vaccarello said. “We have found they don't have access to the data they need. To truly run their business well, they should have access to all their data in real-time and trust in that data.”
Data isn't a fad. It has been catapulted to the top of the priority list as organizations recalibrate their strategies in the face of a pandemic, market volatility and geopolitical instability, Vaccarello said.
“Against this backdrop, organizations continue to invest in transformation rapidly,” she said. “However, they have been slow to adopt data-driven strategies to improve internal business processes and employee experience.”
Vaccarello said one of the biggest obstacles to data quality is that there is no set of universal standards to measure the health of data.
Focusing on data health is Talend's vision for fixing the data-quality issue. Data health ensures the well being and return of corporate information. and offers proactive treatments, quantifiable measures, and preventive steps to identify and correct issues, ensuring that corporate data is clean, complete, and uncompromised.
“Data health is a complex journey of unique requirements, regulations, and risk tolerance,” she said. “It will take substantial market collaboration and research to align on appropriate standards for different companies.”
Eventually, data health solutions will help create a universal set of metrics to evaluate the health of corporate data and establish it as an essential indicator of the strength of a business. Talend's initial framework imagines four primary focus areas to establish data health: reliability, visibility, understanding, and value. Data health will become a key, if not the most important, performance framework used within and across organizations to monitor and evaluate the company's health.