Survey: C-Suite, Managers Disconnect on Data

Despite the growing adoption of business intelligence software in the corporate world, evidence shows a basic disconnect.

CEOs and lower-level managers are not in sync on how company data initiatives are progressing, according to a recent survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit for Teradata Corp.

Izenda Tech Blog logoThe report notes studies have found that data-driven companies are more likely to outperform their competitors. However, getting everyone on the same page with data analytics remains an elusive concept inside many companies.

Differing Views at Different Levels

Survey findings included these disconnects:

• 47 percent of CEOs believe that all employees have access to the data they need. Only 27 percent of other respondents agreed.
• 43 percent of CEOs think relevant data are captured and made available in real time. Only 29 percent of others agreed.
• 38 percent of CEOs are more likely to think that employees extract relevant insights from data. Only 24 percent of others share that view. That number drops to 19 percent when limited to senior vice presidents, vice presidents and directors.
• 53 percent of CEOs think data utilization has made decision-making less hierarchical and further empowered employees. Only 36 percent of employees agreed.
• 51 percent of CEOs believe data availability has improved employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. Only 35 percent agreed.

Converting Data into Insights a Struggle

The survey also found:

• Converting data into insights is still a struggle. Many companies still struggle to extract insights, put them to work for the business, and create truly data-driven organizations. Nearly 40 percent of respondents said converting data into actionable insights was one of their top concerns.
• Data are unequally available even within data-driven and top-performing companies.
Eight in 10 senior vice presidents, vice presidents and directors agreed that data are unequally available. Also, 42 percent of respondents find access to data cumbersome and not user-friendly, which doesn’t help.
• There’s an abundance of internal data and a dearth of external customer and market data.

What are the possible solutions for this divide? How do companies start rowing in the same direction? The report recommends more employee training and better support and communication during implementation of the analytics tools. And, of course, more executive leadership.

“The survey is clear that organizations succeed when the data-driven vision and leadership are shared, and the benefits of data initiatives are consistently tracked, promoted, and most importantly, linked to corporate goals and business results,” said Chris Twogood, vice president of Products and Services Marketing at Teradata.

A Flip in Positions on Big Data

Some observers note the irony of where the business world now stands on analytics. “CEOs and lower-level managers flip positions on big data” was the headline on a post last week by Pam Baker on Fierce Big Data. She writes:

“They found that it is CEOs who now wear the rose-colored glasses. Other executives, especially lower level managers, have a bleaker view. What’s interesting about this finding is that it is the direct opposite of the situation from just a couple years ago. What flipped these C-Suite and line manager attitudes?”

Baker notes that budget-conscious CEOs were not initially sold on unproven data initiatives. However, once they saw the kinds of information available in data collection and the analytics, they saw the business value. They haven’t understood the technical aspects.

“It takes talent and hard work from both the tech and business sides,” Baker writes. “But it can be — and is — done. Fortunately the work will get easier over time as the tools improve and become increasingly user-friendly, whether that user is a CEO or a marketer. Think of it this way, when was a competitive edge ever honed without skill and effort? Why then, would you expect big data to be any different?”

Self-Service BI Closes Disconnects

The technical side does not have to be so hard. With self-service BI platforms, like Izenda’s, organizations no longer have to spend lengthy amounts of implementing the ability to generate reports, dashboards or visualizations from various data sources. Solutions can be embedded into end-users’ applications.

Earlier this week, this blog focused on how American workers don’t use all the software their companies provide on their computers. Turning that theme around, while users need to learn the value that data can bring to their business, the technology doesn’t have to pose an obstacle.

Learn how Izenda’s embedded solution gives users the ability to analyze data in real time, providing self-service BI to organizations.

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