Beware the Data Ditch!

3 minute read

Beware the Data Ditch!

Topics: Data Privacy Cloud Data Insights Digital Transformation

By Calligo on 16 November 2021

Market research of global data maturity reveals the negative commercial impact of ill-planned investments in data projects

 

More than half of businesses are in the “Data Ditch”.

 

More than half of businesses have started to invest in their Data Maturity and have begun to make smarter, wider use of their data. And by more than 10 metrics of business performance, they are worse off than if they had not bothered.

 

Meanwhile, a third of businesses have come out the other side and have seen dramatic upticks to their performance.

DORStats and more...

 

These are the findings of our Data Maturity Impact Reportunique market research into the progress made by mid-tier organizations and enterprises in their use of data, and the commercial impacts seen at the various stages of development.

 

500 NA & EMEA respondents 

...spread from SME to Enterprise

WorldMap Numbers

*All respondents were confirmed to be part of the data leadership, predominantly Director and C-level

 

Assessed in each of the 8 key pillars of Data Maturity

 

Data
Ethics

scale (1)

Data Governance

gavel (1)

IT
Architecture

network (2)

IT
Security

lock

Privacy by Design

close-eyes 

Collaboration

user (3)

IT Cost Management 

dollars 

Data
Insights

ai (3)

Research kindly supported by our key partner:   

logo-blue

 

A shift to the right

One of the principle high-level findings was that since we performed a similar investigation in 2019, there has been a noticeable surge in the number of organizations pursuing greater data maturity.

 

This is perhaps unsurprising. Business commentary has been dominated by discussions of the untapped potential of data for organizations of all sizes, so naturally, the business world has responded.

 

The struggles of 2020 and 2021 only put this into sharper context as organizations that had invested in better data infrastructure were not only able to adapt to remote working more immediately, but were also in a stronger position to adapt to the new market dynamics. Those that couldn’t struggled to survive.

 

SlideRightGraphUpdate

 

Misplaced confidence

This highlights more than just an overconfidence. More importantly, it also shows a lack of appreciation of two things: what is actually required to be truly data mature and particularly to structure data so it can be fully exploited and interacted with safely; plus the extent of what is actually possible with their data once they have done so.

 

If so many people consider themselves to be fully mature, but so few truly are, clearly there is a disconnect in businesses’ understanding of what it means to use their data fully.

 

This supports the main finding of the report: the appearance of the Data Ditch.

 

PerceptionGraph

 

The Data Ditch

Does it matter that so many organizations are overconfident in their data maturity and so underappreciative of how far they really have to go?

 

Isn’t it just a misalignment and a sign of naivety that is quickly solved with greater education?

 

Yes, in part. But in the meantime, businesses are suffering. They are creating their own substantial and wide-ranging downturns in almost every performance metric.

 

EmployeeRetention

By every metric of business performance, businesses that have only reached mid-maturity are worse off than those that have not even started on their data journey. This includes financials, ability to bring new ideas to market, NPS scores and customer retention, technical performance, employee retention and even measures of human relationships. And more.

 

But when organizations “skip the data ditch” and reach the latter stages of maturity, every performance metric soars.

 

MicrosoftTeams-image (104)

 

Assess your own data maturity 

Use the interactive visualization to benchmark yourself against your peers and learn how to avoid the Data Ditch 

 

 

 

What are the best performers doing that those in the Data Ditch are not?

 

Simply put, they are taking a more strategic approach.

 

Further analysis of those in Stages 5 and 6 shows that they perform extraordinarily well in four key areas – the same four key areas that those in the Data Ditch underperform in:

 

DataGovernanceIcon

Data Governance

The foundation stone for any advanced use of data, and arguably one of the least understood and most overlooked. Built on a clear vision for how data should be used; followed by a strategy for how data should be structured, stored, architected, treated and protected.

DataEthicsIcon

Data Ethics

A detailed understanding of every source and type of data, its workflows and purposes, and the data privacy regulations and ethical considerations that apply.

ITSecurityIcon

IT Security

Proactively combatting the wider threats that come with greater data use, both internal and external – and in a way that does not obstruct or restrict data interactions.

ITArchitectureIcon

IT Architecture

The proactive planning and provision of technology resources that support the ambitious use of data, securely and cost-effectively.

 

There is a common thread that runs through all four of these: they can only succeed if closely aligned with the strategy of the business overall.

 

Data governance has to create a structure for data that supports the overall and specific ambitions of the business, while giving it the foundations to meet its regulatory and legal obligations, and supporting IT security. Data ethics ensures that every data interaction complies with the organisation’s legal and moral obligations according to its strategic ambitions, geographies and activities. And excellence in IT architecture depends on proactively aligning resource demand, tools and cost with the organization’s objectives. Strategic alignment underpins them all.

 

And this is the key lesson for any business embarking on their data journey – or who is already in the Data Ditch. Skipping across it, or escaping it, depends on putting these four foundation stones in place first, and thoughtfully. It is demonstrably the most valuable time spent.

 

After all, if they are underserved or if shortcuts are taken, then this research confirms that the outcome is painfully certain.

 

 

timeine strat 1

 

 

 

Data Strategy Assessment

A step-by-step path to avoiding the Data Ditch

 

Let Calligo's expert data strategists assess data's role, use and application in your organization, and design a custom, practical roadmap to mitigate every risk and realise every suitable opportunity.