Two-Thirds of Firms Still Do Not Have a Data Strategy, Survey Reveals

Two-Thirds of Firms Still Do Not Have a Data Strategy, Survey Reveals

More than two-thirds of firms still do not have a data strategy in place and a third have no dedicated budget to improve their data, according to a major new survey commissioned by Cognopia.


The 51-page State of Data Maturity Report also found that only 16% of firms had active participation in data governance from their most senior stakeholders.


Overall, the survey measured data maturity within all firms to be 2.61 out of 5, representing the “repeatable” level, where firms have begun to place controls around their data, but the initiatives are largely led by IT teams.


Neil Burge, CEO of Cognopia which advises Fortune 500 companies on data-driven business transformation, said: “It’s increasingly important for our respondents to drive business performance with data. FAANG companies have set a strong benchmark for unlocking the value of data, and all of the companies we spoke with are trying to follow in their footsteps.


“The theme for this year’s report was ‘Aspiration vs Reality’. Whilst the companies we spoke with talk about grand schemes to close the gap with industry leaders, they currently lack many of the basic data management capabilities necessary to compete at the highest level.”


Key findings from the 2021 State of Data Maturity Report include:


  • 56% of survey respondents say data is a strategic enabler or a competitive differentiator for their business
  • However, 35% of firms are only looking at data value in terms of cost, unable to see the bigger picture
  • Just 32% of firms have a data strategy today, the leaders have data maturity scores substantially greater than those without any strategic direction
  • Senior stakeholders are yet to embrace data governance – only 16% of firms had active participation from their most senior resources
  • A third of businesses (33%) had no dedicated budget to improve their data
  • Data ownership remains a murky and confusing topic – 42% of firms had no data owners or relied on I.T. to play this pivotal role
  • 37% of firms knew their data was poor quality, yet still had no process in place to improve it
  • Metadata management tools are yet to hit prime-time – just 2% of participants report wide usage and adoption of these technologies
  • Data teams fail to set and measure KPIs for their own work – 77% of our respondents are unable to tell us whether things are improving as a result of their work


The report also includes three case studies with real-world data maturity assessments alongside suggestions on how to improve data maturity and avoid common pitfalls examined in the research.


Burge said the failure of senior executives to become engaged with data was holding back many firms’ progress.


He added: “We know from other surveys that 92% of C-level executives believe that People and Process issues are to blame for the failure to become data-driven.


“What’s clear from our survey is that senior executives need to get engaged with their teams that are trying to drive this transformation and lead from the front.


“Unless they appoint people to be accountable for improving data, then set and measure KPIs to monitor progress, they will not be able to drive through the people and process changes that are so desperately needed.”


The full report can be downloaded here


About Cognopia


Since 2016 Cognopia has been helping organisations succeed with data. Cognopia builds data strategies, sets up data governance programs, and leverages the best ideas in change management to help the largest organisations gain control of their most precious asset: their data.


Cognopia is based in Singapore and has customers and partners on every continent.


Media Contact


Neil Roy Burge


Published on PRFIRE