Data everywhere, but not enough smart management

Data mis-management causes problems for IT leaders

Today, most enterprises are finally facing up to the "data, data everywhere" phenomenon-an awe-inspiring and unprecedented push and pull of data and information needs. The push: Terabytes of data flooding enterprise systems and applications, a surge which Gartner predicts will grow by 650 percent during the next five years. The pull: Savvy users demanding sweeping, individualized access to analytics and business information.

So, how's that been working out for enterprises?

Not too good, according to the results from a new survey of 200 executives at companies with more than $500 million in revenues. Here are couple of key findings from Forbes Insights' "Managing Information in the Enterprise: Perspectives for Business Leaders" report (which was sponsored by SAP):

Data Is King

The survey confirms conventional wisdom about the importance of data today: 85 percent of survey respondents agreed that their organizations "treat information as a strategic asset," notes the report. In addition, nearly all (95 percent) "go the next step, believing that information management is essential to business success."

We Are Aware of the "Bad Data Problem"

More than four out of five (82 percent) of respondents agreed that "bad information leads to costly mistakes by business managers," states the survey report. How much does all this cost? A majority of the respondents estimated that data-related problems cost their companies more than $5 million annually. For one-fifth of them, losses were in excess of an astounding $20 million per year.

Which Leads to a Paradoxical Business Situations

So if everyone agrees on the strategic importance of data and information management, and everyone knows what the negative consequences are, then why are there still so many problems? A lack of communication and age-old "he said, she said" issues are, apparently, two factors. Users (in finance, sales and marketing, for instance) gave the overall quality of enterprise data lower marks than the marks IT respondents offered.

"While many IT and line-of-business executives in the survey agreed that information in their organizations has its problems, they differ widely on where and why these data quality issues exist," notes the report. "While such differences in opinion are not surprising, they may prove to be significant hurdles for companies that try to improve data quality."

Who Owns the Data?

The survey results show that "fragmented data ownership" is the single biggest roadblock to a successful enterprise information management program: 79 percent of IT managers surveyed said data-quality responsibility was theirs; and 74 percent of the finance, sales and marketing respondents said it their job to ensure data quality.

"While IT managers largely concede that information is the users' not theirs, they take the position that data and information management systems are under IT's purview," states the report. "This differing perspective puts IT and business executives in conflicting camps, particularly when it comes to data quality."

Knowledge Gap Persists

One final data point from the survey shows the consequences of poor communication and faulty expectations management. The survey revealed that some business execs might, in fact, be unaware of current data management programs at their enterprises.

According to surveyed IT managers, 51 percent of their companies were engaged in data quality management work, states the report. But just 25 percent of business executives reported that their companies had similar projects ongoing.

"The results clearly indicate," notes the survey, "that there is little communication about data quality work in progress when the lines of business are not aware of or involved in the solutions."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Data management

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Thomas Wailgum

CIO (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?