Aspiration vs Reality – the Journey toward data-driven business transformation
June 3rd 2020
SINGAPORE, Cognopia – strategic advisors in data-driven business transformation to Fortune 500 companies and data pioneers, has released the results of its 2021 survey of data maturity and the journey companies are on to become more data-driven. The theme of the 2021 survey is “Aspiration vs Reality” reflecting the growing desire of companies to leverage data as a corporate asset, mirrored against their current challenges in making this an operational reality.
The report analysed respondents on their relationship with data. Whilst 100% of companies surveyed thought their data was an enterprise asset, a third of respondents believed that it was only useful for the operational processes within their businesses today. On the 5-point scale used to measure maturity, the gap between Aspirational and Operational scores was a full 0.8 points. This reflects the fact that there’s a lot of hype around using data, but the ability to unlock value from data is held back by existing operational processes.
Cognopia’s CEO, Neil Burge, commented: “It’s increasingly important for our respondents to drive business performance with data. FAANG companies have set a strong benchmark for unlocking the value of data, and all of the companies we spoke with are trying to follow in their footsteps. The theme for this year’s Report was “Aspiration vs Reality”. Whilst the companies we spoke with talk about grand schemes to close the gap with industry leaders, they currently lack many of the basic data management capabilities necessary to compete at the highest level.”
The overall data maturity measured in Cognopia’s survey was 2.61 (out of 5). This represents the “repeatable” level, where firms have begun to place controls around their data, but the initiatives are largely led by IT teams. Neil continued “54% of firms we spoke to said they struggled to get their executives excited about data maturity issues. The gap between firms with the most engaged executives and those with the least engaged executives was 1.16 points. Until the business starts driving value from their data, maturity scores are likely to languish and opportunities will be lost.”
Key Findings from the 2021 survey include:
- 56% of survey respondents say data is a strategic enabler or a competitive differentiator for their business
- However, 35% of firms are only looking at data value in terms of cost, unable to see the bigger picture
- Just 32% of firms have a data strategy today, the leaders have data maturity scores substantially greater than those without any strategic direction
- Senior stakeholders are yet to embrace data governance – only 16% of firms had active participation from their most senior resources
- A third of businesses (33%) had no dedicated budget to improve their data
- Data ownership remains a murky and confusing topic – 42% of firms had no data owners or relied on I.T. to play this pivotal role
- 37% of firms knew their data was poor quality, yet still had no process in place to improve it
- Metadata management tools are yet to hit prime-time – just 2% of participants report wide usage and adoption of these technologies
- Data teams fail to set and measure KPIs for their own work – 77% of our respondents are unable to tell us whether things are improving as a result of their work
“We know from other surveys that 92% of C-level executives believe that People and Process issues are to blame for the failure to become data-driven. What’s clear from our survey is that senior executives need to get engaged with their teams that are trying to drive this transformation and lead from the front,” said Neil Burge. “Unless they appoint people to be accountable for improving data, then set and measure KPIs to monitor progress, they will not be able to drive through the People and Process changes that are so desperately needed.” he continued.
The Cognopia 2021 State of Data Maturity Report is a 51-page analysis looking at the most critical issues facing companies as they seek to unlock the value in data. It includes 3 case studies with real-world maturity assessments alongside suggestions on how to improve data maturity and avoid common pitfalls examined in the research.
Since 2016 Cognopia has been helping organisations succeed with data. Cognopia builds data strategies, sets up data governance programs, and leverages the best ideas in change management to help the largest organisations gain control of their most precious asset: their data.
Cognopia is based in Singapore and has customers and partners on every continent.