RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Getting Your Money’s Worth with Data Quality Investments

A new study from the University of Texas at Austin quantifies the ROI of investments in data quality.

Businesses are demanding more from IT, so it’s no surprise that they want to know if their investments in IT are actually improving the bottom line. Are employees more productive, can the enterprise grow and innovate, or can it plan and forecast more accurately?

The University of Texas at Austin, working with the Indian School of Business, designed a study to answer these very questions. The results of the study, published in Impacts of Effective Data on Business Innovation and Growth and released today, focus on the lifeblood of 150 Fortune 1000 enterprises -- data. The study explored data quality, data accessibility, and the relevance of retrieved data to solving enterprises’ problems -- in other words, what made the data effective and how that impacts the enterprise.

The researchers conclude that there are “often dramatic impacts that even marginal investments in information technology can have when that technology addresses data quality, usability, and intelligence, whether it be using mobility or remote access solutions, analytics or business intelligence solutions, or a combination of the two.”

In the third chapter of the report, the study goes beyond examining the benefits of effective data that we all know. It actually quantifies the financial, customer, and operational impacts of effective data.

“While large-scale investments in Information Technology have certainly helped improve basic data access and quality, our findings suggest that there is still room for major performance gains through additional investments in better data,” the report points out.

Increasing data’s usability of data by just 10 percent can improve median total revenue by more than $2 billion annually directly due to increased employee productivity. The study also found that by making data more accessible, enterprises could realize an average savings of $271 million thanks to better asset utilization (defined as sales divided by total assets).

Investments in your data will likely more than pay for themselves, based on the study’s results. For example, an increase of just 10 percent in data intelligence added an average of $14.7 million in new-customer revenue at the firms studied.

The push for mobile data may also benefit organizations. According to the report, increasing data accessibility and intelligence drives innovation -- the firms studied increased revenue by an average of $17 million thanks to new products or services.

You can read all three parts of the report here http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1082805. Access is free and requires no registration.

About the Author

James E. Powell is the editorial director of the Business Intelligence Journal and BI This Week newsletter.

jpowell@tdwi.org


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