Do you ever feel like you’re constantly collecting data, but never know what happens to it once it’s out of your hands? Have you run a report for your manager, who then makes a decision counter to the data simply because it’s in his or her best interest?
If you answered yes, then you’re not alone. We’ve heard people anecdotally share how much time they spend chasing down data in their job, only to see it fall into a data abyss. But as a software company focused on data, that hearsay wasn’t enough for us. We wanted to dig deeper to understand how big that pain point really is, and which industries feel it most.
We recently completed a nationwide survey, the Data Chaser Challenge, where we surveyed the retail, financial services, automotive, technology and healthcare industries to see how data collection, analysis, reporting and use varied, and where exactly the data disconnect was happening.
We found across industries, companies are still failing to take meaningful action on data. For instance, employees reported they spent up to 20 hours per week collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data, yet 1 in 3 companies were failing to act on collected data. We love the increased focus on data, but without action, companies are wasting valuable time, money, and resources.
So, why are companies struggling to make sense of data? The survey uncovered most companies continue to use multiple tools or outdated tools. Data is meant to empower agility and drive improvements across an organization, but more than 70% of companies still rely on manual tools such as spreadsheets and word processors that hinder their success. Companies need to employ a more streamlined approach to data management and that means giving your team the tools needed to collect the most useful information in the least amount of time.
The key to data success in 2016 starts with ending the chase. But, how do you go about that? At Square Root, we have found there are three components that help companies move from the data chase to understanding and action:
- Provide transparency around goals to ensure everyone is working towards the same outcomes
- Deploy the right software—organization-wide—to connect data to action planning and drive change
- Work backwards to determine where data is required and most impactful and avoid wasting valuable time and money