Tom Pohlmann, managing director of Forrester’s information technology client group, claims the problem is threefold, citing master data management, data quality and silos of information, which make it extremely difficult to establish one version of the “truth” about customers.
“Data chiefs are still grappling with different versions of the truth [in terms of data],” said Pohlmann, pointing out that businesses have myriad ways of cataloguing customer interaction, which create silos of data.
He added: “Business intelligence is a big pain point for many organisations,” and, although firms never set out to create data problems, even with the best intentions, their data organisation is ineffective.
Pohlmann believes organisations need to focus on turning the 5% of usable data to 20%. Given the poor economic outlook for 2012, business intelligence (BI) may be one of the key assets for the business to improve profitability during difficult trading. “The data people I talk to spend a lot of their time thinking about how to drive growth,” he said.
Pohlmann reckons data virtualisation as a way for businesses to deliver on the promise of information-as-a-service (IaaS). It can be used as a stepping stone for enterprise data integration. However, fewer than 20% of data departments have incorporated data virtualisation into their integration tool kits; even fewer are realising its true potential.
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