IT departments are no longer the sole owners of data, with more and more companies moving to a decentralised model of data ownership or putting it in the hands of a chief data officer. This is according to a new survey, Taking Control in the Digital Age.
Credit referencing agency Experian has been conducting a survey of 1,000 data professionals annually since 2016. The data practitioners and data-driven business leaders were asked how they leverage data to solve key business challenges and how their data management practices change over time.
Paul Malyon, data strategy manager for data quality at Experian UK and Ireland, noticed two things since last year’s report was published. The first is that the percentage of organisations that suspect their current or prospective customer data is inaccurate in some way has remained consistent at 29%.
The second is that there is a trend away from data being owned by IT. He said: “The major trend we’re seeing is the move of ownership of data from IT, and it is still mainly owned by IT, to a decentralised model. So organisations are starting to move control to multiple departments.”
Three out of four respondents said that responsibility for data quality should ultimately lie within the business with occasional assistance from IT, however in 84% of cases, data is managed primarily or solely by IT. Furthermore, seven out of ten said that not having direct control over data affects their ability to meet strategic objectives.
The survey did reveal that other business units are taking the initiative and driving change with data management projects. With these projects just 53% are lead by IT, 28% are led by a combination of departments and for 24% the chief data officer’s team leads the project.
Malyon added that there is not a panacea for perfect data ownership. He said: “Interestingly, what we did see is that whether it was decentralised or centralised in IT or under a CDO, all of these different ownership approaches had similar issues, whether it be the delays in getting insight or a lack of trust.”
The lack of trust has a damaging impact on organisations with 95% responding that they have seen negative impacts from poor data quality, resulting in wasted resources, additional costs, ineffective business decisions, poor customer experience, delayed data migration projects among other things. In addition, 69% said that inaccurate data is undermining their ability to provide excellent customer service.
The survey was produced by Insight Avenue for Experian in November 2018 and canvassed opinions from 1,000 people from the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil and Australia.
The sectors represented include IT, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, business services, financial services, healthcare, public sector, education, utilities and others.