Year on year, research shows that data roles are on the rise. In fact, Knowledge@Wharton found that the number of data science jobs has grown by an impressive 15-20 times since just 2017. On top of this, in 2012 just 12% of big organisations recruited Chief Data Officer roles, compared to 68% of organisations hiring the same or similar roles in 2020 (Forbes, 2020).
However, despite the significant increase in data-focused roles, it seems that not all businesses are utilising their data effectively. In fact, research by Sigma (2020) found that companies on average use just 12% of their data, meaning a staggering 88% goes to waste.
With the global pandemic causing a surge in online shopping, a company’s ability to create a data-driven strategy is becoming ever more vital. As we move into an ever more digitalised world, it’s clear that businesses need to make decisions based on data is only likely to increase exponentially.
Why do companies struggle to use their data effectively?
With the increase in data-focused roles, it should be questioned why firms are still failing to use their data optimally. A lack of training is likely to be one of the most obvious reasons. 93% of employers asked named a lack of processes and data skills as the biggest obstacle to utilising data, compared to lack of technology, which just 7.5% of respondents claimed was their biggest challenge (CDO Trends, 2020).
Data is a multifaceted area, covering collection, design, cleaning, preparation, analysis, visualisation, communication, and management, and a lack of knowledge and skills in just one of these areas can lead to a failure in data validity.
Another reason businesses are not leveraging the data could also be that firms are still failing to see the importance of data, as the 2019 Big Data and AI Survey found that 53% did not see data as a vital business asset and 72% of businesses claimed they were yet to establish an effective data culture.