Over the past month my team and I have been conducting research on what issues business leaders (owners, presidents, VPs, CXOs) have with data and analytics. The research is ongoing, but here is the first preliminary report.
- Rapid data integration - Responders expressed that they are spending a lot of time accessing the multitude of data points they are trying to report on. Furthermore, data is not being updated in "real time" and business leaders are missing opportunities to course correct. Proper database integration will accelerate the data flow into analytics and give up-to-date information.
- Manual data management - So far the second most common expressed need is to speed up data cleaning. Once our contacts get their hands on the right data, it is in various forms. Many leaders are spending hours manually cleaning, standardizing, and updating data in Excel. From there business leaders are creating static reports that have to be manually re-created at the next reporting interval (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually). In many cases this pain point is documented, but is often not prioritized in the annual business plan.
- Data translation - Third on the expressed need list at this point is the translation of data to upper management. These folks are looking for the executive summary, not the raw data. The struggle is that there is so much data someone has to sort the relevant from irrelevant and plead a case based on the data.
Other identified needs are better lines of inter-departmental communication on data, end-user flexibility and control with the data, data security, and the bus factor (if the person managing the data gets hit by a bus, nobody else can pick up where they left off).
More to come!