Businesses Struggling with Data Flood: Survey

Business executives are struggling with the massive amounts of data flooding their organizations, according to a new survey conducted by Oracle.

The survey asked some 333 North American business executives about their “pain points” with regard to data. Some 94 percent of them reported their organizations as collecting and managing more data today than two years ago; that data is primarily a combination of customer information (48 percent of respondents), operations (34 percent), and sales and marketing (33 percent).

Some 29 percent of executives rated their organizations’ data preparedness a “D” or “F,” while a full 93 percent believed that the inability to handle data was translating into lost revenue opportunities. On a managerial level, 38 percent thought their organizations lacked the proper systems to gather data, while 36 percent said they couldn’t give managers access to the right data. Another 29 percent felt their systems in place were the wrong ones for dealing with “the unique needs” of their particular industry.

In terms of priorities going forward, some 43 percent of respondents said they needed to improve the ability to translate information into actionable insight, around 38 percent cited a need to acquire tools for collecting more accurate data, with another 38 percent wanting more data-related training for employees.

“This study shows that up to 14 percent of a company’s revenue is lost because enterprises are challenged to manage and analyze data, which grows exponentially as we speak,” Oracle president Mark Hurd wrote in a July 17 statement. The full report is available here.

Despite those difficulties, 67 percent of executives indicated that the ability to pull actionable intelligence from data was a “top organizational priority.”

Other studies in recent months have mirrored Oracle’s findings. In fact, just to make things a little bit more interesting, a recent report from Nucleus Research indicated that the “half life” of most data, or the length of time over which it retains value in terms of informing decisions, is often quite short. In other words, not only do executives and workers need to collect and analyze all the data pouring into their organizations—they need to do so at speed, in order to ensure the best possible insights.

That’s a pretty big challenge, but workers also seem aware of it.


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