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Enterprises aren’t using data to make business decisions: Survey

Enterprises aren’t using data to make business decisions: Survey

A majority of business leaders in enterprises worldwide are unable to use data to make strategic business decisions.

Enterprises worldwide are not tapping the potential of their data when making critical business decisions and navigating uncertain macroeconomic conditions, according to a Salesforce survey.

Nearly 67% of 10,000 business leaders polled globally are not using data to set pricing in line with economic conditions such as inflation, according to the Untapped Data Research survey.

Only 29% of these leaders are using data to set strategy when launching products or services in new markets, and just 17% are using data to achieve their climate goals, according to the survey. 

Just 21% of the survey respondents said they are using data to make decisions about their company’s diversity goals.

The lack of data utilisation is happening even though 80% of the leaders said that data is critical to decision making and 73% said that data reduces uncertainties.

The business leaders who were polled also believe that data can help generate more efficiency and trust in their organisations if leveraged correctly, according to the survey.

Nearly 72% of these leaders said that data keeps people focused on the things that matter and that are relevant to the business.

In addition, more than 66% of the executives surveyed said that they think data can help minimise the influence of personal opinions or egos in a business conversation.

Data deluge sparks operational challenges

The volume of data generated and the lack of knowledge to operationalise or utilise it in the most effective way are impediments to tapping the potential of enterprises’ data reserves, according to survey respondents.

“While 80% of business leaders say data is critical in decision-making, 41% cite a lack of understanding of data because it is too complex or not accessible enough. What’s more, one-third of leaders said they lack the ability to generate insights from data,” Francois Ajenstat, chief product officer at Tableau, wrote in a blog post.

Salesforce acquired visual analytics software provider Tableau in August 2019.

In addition to the impediments cited by Ajenstat, the volume of data generated globally is expected to more than double by 2026, adding to more complexities for enterprises, according to the study.

Investing in data literacy skills could be the solution

Enterprise leadership teams can work to eliminate these impediments by investing in data literacy programs for employees and weaving a data culture into the fabric of the enterprise, according to Ajenstat.

“If a company doesn’t yet have a data culture, then they need to invest in platforms that allow them to turn repeatable processes into core capabilities,” Ajenstat said, adding that data literacy programs should be offered to all employees.

The proliferation of generative AI and natural language processing will break down learning barriers for employees, Ajenstat said.

“These innovations are giving non-data people the confidence to make an informed decision and act on it,” Ajenstat wrote.


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