CDOs feel the heat over huge expansion of data sources

data tooThe uphill struggle data professionals face in analysing the information their companies gather has been exposed, with eight in ten firms tapping into more than 100 data sources and a third using more than 1,000, turning data management into the 12 Labours of Hercules.

Even so, the findings, published in IDC’s second annual global survey of chief data officers, reveals those firms with a high level of data maturity are trouncing the rest by generating 250% more business value.

Given these multiple data sources, it is perhaps no surprise that nearly two in five (37%) data chiefs are grappling with data management issues as opposed to driving strategy or innovation with data.

It is this fragmentation, with data spread across multiple sources and many clouds that is making it much more difficult to discover, manage and derive intelligence from data.

Highlighting the chasm in delivering business value between data leaders and laggards, the study found that enterprises with a high level of data maturity generate 250% more business value than those only beginning their data-led transformations, where most of the time in data management is spent keeping the lights on.

IDC insists this is where artificial intelligence comes into its own, as only AI can deliver the speed and scalability demanded by modern enterprises; the study found that data mature organisations were three times better at using AI to automate data management activities than their less mature peers.

However, only a third (31%) of organisations provide AI-powered self-service access to all the data needed by different teams.

Once again, it is organisations in APAC that lead the way, with 37% automating data management across the business; North American firms follow closely behind with 33%. But business in the EMEA region have been far slower to adopt automation, with only a quarter deploying it in all areas of the organisation.

The study highlights how critical data management is to digital transformation, noting that organisations with strong data leadership are three times more likely to be well underway with digital transformation. With cloud central to that, migrating to the cloud was a primary objective for 34% of respondents.

Over the past year most organisations increased the data functionality hosted in the cloud by by between 10% and 20%. However, a quarter of EMEA and North America enterprises saw a 30% uptick.

IDC research director Stewart Bond said: “Data is the lifeblood of digital transformation and how well you manage it impacts your business success in a digital-first world.

“The survey shows organisations with higher data maturity are better at using cloud and AI to address the primary challenge of fragmentation and complexity and generate higher levels of business value with their data. Organisations seeking to become digital leaders should place a strong focus on data leadership.”

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