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Ignore Data at Your Own Peril, Latest Alation Report Suggests

Research reveals 74 percent of CFOs don’t have the right investment approach for data and analytics.

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.

Ignoring data leads to business missteps. That is the bottom line according to the latest Alation State of Data Culture Report, released today. An eye-opening 97 percent of data leaders report their companies have suffered the consequences of ignoring data -- either missing out on new revenue opportunities, poorly forecasting performance, or making bad investments. 

Enabling organizations to use trusted, governed data to make informed, data-driven decisions can lead to process optimization and increased revenue opportunities. Ironically, data leaders are frustrated that despite the material impact data and analytics have on their businesses, 74 percent claim their CFO’s do not invest enough in data and analytics. This disconnect introduces performance risk for organizations when compared to competitors who utilize data and analytics to better improve operations and serve customers. The report states that 89 percent of organizations that fell short of their revenue goals blame their CFO for not investing enough.

Using the State of Data Culture Index, companies with a top-tier data culture are most aware (73 percent) of the risk of disruption from competitors who are able to use data better; low-tier data culture companies, for whom the risks are even higher, are the <em>least</em> aware of this risk, at only 44 percent. 

Produced by Wakefield Research for Alation, a leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions, the Alation State of Data Culture Report provides an assessment of the progress enterprises have made in creating a data culture, the challenges they face in embracing data-driven decision making, and the progress they have made in leveraging data to drive business value.

More than half (56 percent) of data leaders say their data culture has improved in the past year, and attribute that success to a number of factors: 

  • Technology: 54 percent cite investment in new data tools, such as data intelligence and data catalogs
  • Data governance: 48 percent say improved collaborative data governance builds trust in data 
  • Data literacy: 51 percent of all data leaders are fostering a data culture through formal learning and development programs to increase data literacy 
  • Reliance on data: More than half, 54 percent, report that C-level executives almost always rely on data, as opposed to gut instinct, a 20-point improvement over last year

One year into the Alation State of Data Culture report, research shows that companies that focus on building a data culture have a great competitive advantage, defensively and offensively. On the defense, organizations can evaluate risk and better prepare for uncertainty with more predictability. An offensive competitive advantage enables organizations to increase customer retention and drive product innovation. Data leaders reported more than 14 percent growth in all three pillars of data culture, with year-over-year increases including: 

  • 22-point growth (37 percent to 59 percent) in companies that have adopted data literacy in most or all departments
  • 15-point growth (39 percent to 54 percent) in companies that have adopted data search and discovery in most or all departments
  • 14-point growth (39 percent to 53 percent) in companies that have adopted data governance in most or all departments

The Alation State of Data Culture Report is a study sponsored by Alation and executed by Wakefield Research. Wakefield Research conducted a quantitative research study among 300 data and analytics leaders at enterprises with over 2,500 employees in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Enterprises are polled each quarter regarding the progress of establishing a data culture -- i.e., a culture of data-driven decision making -- within their organizations, the challenges they face in embracing data-driven decision making, and the progress they have made in leveraging data to drive business value for their organization.

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