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With the importance of data becoming increasingly known for sustainable market success, many businesses are making data governance a key focus in 2021.

However, despite this, some organisations are still struggling to leverage the full potential of their data assets. According to research by Finextra in 2019, 95% of companies report negative impacts from poor data quality, which affects customer experience, business efficiency, and organisational reputation.

As well as this, incorrect ownership (69%), lack of trust in data (49%) and information overload (65%) are other key factors preventing businesses from incorporating a robust and reliable data strategy.

With these numbers in mind, it’s no wonder that even with the best intentions, data transparency and data intelligence is holding a number of businesses back from achieving their goals.

5 ways data could be holding your company back

For many companies, collecting the data isn’t the problem. Most businesses likely already have more than enough data at their fingertips, but instead of opening the door to valuable insights and opportunities, it’s actually slowing down processes and hindering their success.

Let’s take a look at five common ways your data could be holding you back.

1. Your data is fragmented across various platforms

Unless your company has implemented reliable custom business intelligence software, it’s likely that your data will be stored in several places. Unfortunately, this is a huge hurdle that could be hurting your data practices.

When data is fragmented across Excel spreadsheets, your CRM, an ERP system, your accountancy software, and various other platforms, then employees don’t have the visibility they need to make informed decisions and drive innovation. No matter how accurate or smart your data is, they lack the whole picture.

This can lead to increased time spent searching for data that’s missing, or even trying to make decisions based on little or poor data, which may not always be in your business’ best interests.

Meanwhile, business intelligence software enables you to connect and integrate fragmented business data into one easy-to-reach place and transform it into beautiful, simple dashboards.

2. Creating reports is taking up a large amount of time

Once you have the data, you need a way to understand it. This is typically done by creating visual reports such as graphs, tree maps and pie charts, which should be easy to read and effortless to produce.

Unfortunately, creating these reports is often an arduous task and takes up valuable time and resources, such as hard-to-schedule graphic designers or costly third party tools. All this can make this part of the data sharing process less than enjoyable, and it could be precious time better spent elsewhere.

A powerful business intelligence software will help you to create beautiful visualisations in minutes, enabling you not just to understand your data, but also to display it proudly to clients, stakeholders and team-mates.

3. You’re collecting data that never gets used

Having so much data that you don’t know what to do with it is an all-too-common scenario for most businesses, leaving them in a state of ‘analysis paralysis’. This stands in the way of smart, informed business decisions and could be wasting a huge amount of resources on collecting, storing, cleaning and processing data that may not actually be useful for your business objectives.

Only by collecting the data you really need, as well as knowing how to analyse it with purpose and clarity, can businesses truly benefit from the power data brings.

4. Your data is of poor quality

According to Finextra’s research, one in three (33%) organisations find trust a major challenge when extracting value from data. On average, companies believe 29% of their customer and prospect data is inaccurate in some way – a huge number, considering this is how many crucial business decisions are made. A further one in three report data being difficult to leverage because it is incomplete (38%) or not accessible through a single customer view (36%).

The reasons behind data inaccuracies can be various, but human error is the most common. 50% of organisations believe it’s down to data being inputted incorrectly, as well as a lack of automated checks in place when data is inputted for the first time (by customers, not just employees).

Other reasons include information being spread out across multiple sources as mentioned earlier (39%), and not having a clear data governance strategy in place (30%). This lack of quality means organisations do not have full confidence to make decisions based on their data, meaning they could be missing out on important business opportunities.

5. Data ownership is too limited

Part of implementing a transformative data strategy involves making data accessible to all those who need it. This is something most companies lack, however, as outdated practices and systems limit data ownership to a small select few.

This lack of control over information impedes the ability of 70% of businesses to meet strategic objectives (Finextra, 2019). For 84% of these, information is typically processed by IT, who aren’t always able to juggle this responsibility with their numerous other priorities. This means that other teams may struggle to get hold of data they need  to carry out certain tasks, and also won’t have full visibility of the organisation’s data management needs.

Expanding data ownership not only helps employees do their job more effortlessly, but it also helps to build a data-driven culture. This can be done easily by implementing a well-structured data governance strategy and adopting a delegated approach, whereby the right data is easily accessible to those who need it, and those who use information are responsible for its upkeep.

Move forward with your data

Do you feel your business could benefit from having more control over your data? Bespoke helps to make data simple through a range of business intelligence and data analytics solutions.

Get in touch to arrange a free consultation and find out more.


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