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Most Data Teams Have Experienced Employee Resistance to Adopting Data-Driven Methods

Global study finds employee confusion curbs data culture transformation.

Note: TDWI’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.

New research from Exasol, which offers a high-performance, in-memory analytics database, reveals that two-thirds of data teams (65 percent) have experienced employee resistance to the adoption of data-driven methods at their organizations despite an overwhelming (73 percent) belief that most employees are open to a data-driven approach. Of those respondents who have experienced some resistance, 42 percent of decision makers attribute a lack of understanding of the organization’s data strategy followed by a widespread (40 percent) lack of education about the positive impact data brings.

“In reality, healthy data cultures empower people to make better decisions, create open discussions, and ultimately lead to the kind of superior innovation that is necessary for businesses to remain competitive and agile,” says Helena Schwenk, Market Intelligence at Exasol. “Such disconnects make it impossible for truly data-driven cultures to exist.”

The report, Data Strategy and Culture: Paving the Way to the Cloud, further revealed that decision makers overwhelmingly agree (83 percent) that data is perceived as strategically important to their business and 82 percent agree that their organization is working to improve the data culture. Yet understanding of their organization’s data strategy -- and who is (and should be) driving data strategy -- is unclear. For example, 47 percent of respondents consider data users to be very informed about their organization’s data strategy and only 37 percent consider mid-management or team leaders to be very informed about it.

The report also found a disagreement when it comes to who should be initiating data strategy in organizations. Two-thirds of decision makers agree that data strategies are currently driven at the board level. However, 57 percent believe middle management should drive their organization’s data strategy.

“A thriving data-driven culture can only exist when organizations employ a holistic, inclusive, and committed approach to data across the entire business and for all employees -- from entry-level to the C-suite,” Schwenk said. “The mere existence of data within an organization is not enough to translate to success. Successful data cultures demand transparency and a commitment to demystifying how data works.”

Sapio Research conducted the survey of over 2,000 data strategy decision makers from four key markets: the U.K., Germany, the U.S., and China. Respondents work in a broad range of business roles, from C-level through to marketing and operations, and are all responsible for gathering or applying insights from data.

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