The Data Optimization Report

The quantified benefits of unleashing the potential of your data across the entire data lifecycle


This is a limited version of the full report. To access all the findings, click here: 

The report in summary

This report is the world's first investigation into the true business benefits Data Optimization.


What does that mean?


We have examined and quantified the impact on the business when data is captured, stored, used and overseen in a 'best in class' fashion. Specifically, the report shows exactly how robust data strategies, efficient and secure infrastructure, continuous data governance, and intelligent data use have actually benefited businesses in the last 12 months.


In short, it shows the precise benefits of the previously unquantifiable boardroom goal of "making the most of our data" - if it is done correctly.

A selection of the key findings:



  • Almost half of businesses have not yet progressed far enough in their efforts to improve data use to have experienced any benefits at all.  

  • For 1 in 5 businesses, their data efforts have only been implemented ad hoc, not organization-wide, which is actually creating more problems than if they had done nothing.

  • Businesses who have pursued Data Optimization more thoroughly are experiencing:

    • 25% improvement in Agility

    • 26% improvement in Productivity

    • 25% improvement in Client Retention

    • More than double the NPS score

    • 4x greater likelihood to be profitable

    • 67% more gross profit

  • The gap is widening - those who are benefiting the most from Data Optimization programs are racing to further improvements twice as fast as anyone else.

How to read this report

This report is based on Calligo’s own Data Optimization Maturity Model, against which 500+ businesses from around the world have been measured and categorized.


Many maturity models exist for various data disciplines, such as analytics or data governance, but none exist that examine the maturity of business' data use across its entire lifecycle. This below is an abbreviated version of the fuller, more complex version that Calligo’s data architects and consultants use in client engagements.


View Maturity Model


The Maturity Model examines business' performance in the eight key areas of data use and management:


Data Ethics



Privacy by Design



IT Architecture






Cost Management



IT Security



Data Governance



Insights & Automation



Together, these "pillars" guarantee the compliant and principled collection of data; that it is stored optimally and made readily available across the business; that it is secured from internal and external threats; that it is intelligently exploited; that every single data interaction is in line with industry regulations and privacy laws; and that all this is achieved cost-efficiently.


For the first time, this report shows the key strategic and practical benefits that can be expected - and that most businesses are missing out on - from progressing through the stages of Data Maturity and optimizing each area of data use.


The benefits are listed below, and are accessible by the panel on the left. As you read about how Data Maturity affects each benefit, you can also remind yourself of what comprises each maturity stage using the button at the bottom of the panel.


Agility & Innovation




Client satisfaction & retention






Compliance & Security


IT's Internal Reputation

The story so far

We asked 500+ businesses from around the world, in multiple industries and of varying sizes, to self-classify their current capabilities for each of the 8 pillars of Data Optimization. We then converted their responses into an overall maturity rating.

Who we surveyed, shown by country, employee numbers and job titles

 LocationGraph2-2 EmployeeGraph-2 JobTitlesGraph-1


How Data Mature are businesses today?


The bell curve-like distribution is entirely to be expected. Only the rare few (6%) can claim to be making sufficient use of their data to earn top status. And given the rudimentary nature of the early stages of maturity, and the ongoing rhetoric on the untapped value of data to businesses, it cannot be surprising that more than half have moved beyond the first stages into the middle two. 


But while the middle two stages are the most popular, they are also the trickiest to be in.


Most of the requirements of Stage 2 describe the introduction of new data processes, new exploratory initiatives and a greater focus on collboration. While this represents a strong sign of progress and intent to improve, these processes and initiatives are also charaterized as “reactive”, having “no organization-wide plan”, “little documentation” and having "gaps".


Stage 3 however is characterized by the establishment of defined roles and responsibilities, the standardization of processes, widespread integration and the readiness for audit and scrutiny. Quite a step beyond Stage 2.


And as you will see from the data below, benefits only typically appear once a business has reached Stage 3. In fact, it even shows that the limitations and erratic use of data in Stage 2 compared to the advances of Stage 3 mean that to remain in Stage 2 is actually detrimental to the business



Key takeaways:

  • 1 in 5 businesses have progressed to Stage 2, but are actually suffering as a result.
  • Stage 3 is where major benefits start to appear, but almost half of businesses have not reached this point yet.


It is often better to have not progressed at all than to languish in Stage 2 and have only begun your data maturity journey - acceleration beyond that point is critical


Want to see the benefits that businesses are gaining right now from Data Optimization and unleashing the full potential of their data?

Submit the form below to gain full access!