Business leaders believe data is now the fourth factor of production, as fundamental to business as land, labour and capital, according to a global survey by Capgemini. Nine out of 10 respondents say decisions made in the past three years would have been better if they had all the relevant information.
Timeliness and quality of data remain significant issues.
Although 42 percent of respondents say data analysis has slowed down decision-making, the vast majority (85 percent) believe the growing volume of data isn’t the main challenge, but rather being able to analyse and act on it in real-time.
Another key challenge is the shortage of qualified data analysts, as cited by half (51 percent) of respondents. The shortage is particularly apparent in retail and consumer goods companies.
The study, The Deciding Factor: Big Data & Decision making, was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and attracted more than 600 C-level executives and senior management and IT leaders worldwide as respondents.
The biggest barrier to making the most of Big Data is organisational silos, cited by 56 percent of respondents.
Two-thirds of executives consider their organisations are ‘data-driven’, meaning data collection and analysis is a major part of their business strategy and day-to-day decision-making.
At the same time, the study finds leaders who base their judgement on a combination of experience and instinct are becoming increasingly rare.
Over half (54 percent) say management decisions based purely on intuition or experience are increasingly regarded as suspect and 65 percent say more and more management decisions are based on “hard analytic information.”
The majority of executives (58 percent) rely on unstructured data analysis including text, voice messages, images and video content while over 40 percent say social media data in particular has become increasingly important for decision-making.
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