Just 1% of businesses are fully data-centric says report

Toni Sekinah, research analyst and features editor, DataIQ

Only 1% of decision makers say their organisations are fully data-driven. Furthermore, 40% stated their company is between a quarter and halfway along that transformation journey from focusing on business intelligence to data and analytics. This is according to a survey of 500 British and German IT and business decisions-makers on transforming from business intelligence to data and analytics.

But Sam Sibley, strategic partner and alliances manager for Exasol in the UK and Ireland, which commissioned the report, believes that percentage will improve very quickly in the future, despite the challenge in doing so.“The reason it is a challenge is it’s not just about the technology or hiring a chief data officer. It’s about the methodology and having the right culture,” he said.

"It's not just about the technology or a chief data officer."

Planning chart in diarySibley went on to say that tools and technology can only take an organisation so far: “You can bring the right tools and technology in place, but unless you’ve got the right skill sets, the right methodology and the right culture from the top, there’s a big challenge and a big disconnect.”

The report also looked at the reasons behind unsuccessful projects. A lack of support in creating a data culture, an issue raised by Sibley, was cited as the one of the reasons for the failure of data-driven projects. Almost one in four or 23% of decision-makers said that a lack of board-level support had contributed to project failure.

The decision-makers said that for 29% of them, data security issues have led to the failure of data-driven projects and for 28% poor data quality was the cause.

The survey seemed to position business intelligence and data analytics at two ends of a spectrum. Did Exasol take the view as a company that they are binary and mutually exclusive?

"Business intelligence and data analytics work hand-in-hand."

According to Sibley, it’s about the two coming together. He said: “The two work hand-in-hand and what they do is help put data at the heart of an organisation. Analytics is what helps business intelligence to produce the reports and insights that are needed to drive change within the organisation.”

Driving home the point about the two being linked, he said that while business intelligence has historically been focused around front-end reporting and providing information to the business, analytics is how you go about naming that information and what insight you get from it.

The survey was carried out for Exasol by Vanson Bourne and canvassed 500 respondents.