Seven in 10 businesses are struggling to unlock data's true potential because of a lack of control, leaving many with untrusted data that undermines innovation and customer interactions.
So says the latest Experian Global Data Management report, which surveyed 1,000 data practitioners from organisations around the world and found that although three-quarters (75%) think responsibility for data should ultimately lie across multiple departments, with the occasional help from IT, only 13% are currently doing it this way.
It appears that the problem lies with who is responsible for managing data, with 84% saying information is processed by the IT department which has many other priorities than just data quality or analytics. As a result, more than half (56%) of companies say these teams do not have an understanding of the organisation's data management needs.
In fact they cite the triple whammy of incorrect ownership (69%), lack of trust in data (49%) and information overload (65%) as the key factors which are preventing them from achieving their strategic objectives.
Meanwhile, 95% also admit seeing detrimental effects from poor data quality, which could be having a negative impact on customer experience, business efficiency and organisational reputation.
Businesses also struggle due to incomplete data (38%), a lack of skills to manipulate and gain insights around data (33%) and a lack of trust in data (33%).
Current processes conflict with how organisations want to see data managed, the report claims, with three in four (75%) respondents thinking responsibility for data quality should lie within the business, meaning those who use information are responsible for its upkeep.
Adopting a delegated approach means teams which use data and its insights for their day-to-day jobs, are also in charge of how it is created and processed.
Despite these issues, almost all (99%) businesses acknowledge being data-driven provides a competitive advantage. From improving customer experience (54%) and better insight for decision-making (51%), to more efficient business practices (52%), firms acknowledge the benefit of using data on their bottom line.
Experian global managing director of data quality Mike Kilander said: "We are seeing a broad range of business stakeholders looking for more control over their data, as many struggle to access valuable information and develop trust in it. We see year after year that despite ambitions, many businesses fail to take full advantage of the opportunity that data can provide because current infrastructure and management practices are not set up to handle today's digital consumer.
"However, we are seeing more organisations establishing stronger data leadership steered by a chief data officer. New leadership, empowered by business-user focused technology, can deliver the strategic direction to ensure the right people have access to trusted data and deliver the best outcomes for the business."