Data ‘key to our survival in 2022’

Half of European businesses don’t think they will survive without relevant, up-to-date and compliant business data.

That was the finding of research from the analytics giant Dun and Bradstreet who assessed the effects of Covid-related disruption to their operations and supply chains.

Two-thirds of business leaders agreed that data was the most useful tool for their organisation to identify new markets and target new customers.

Furthermore, with the pandemic continuing to disrupt supply chains globally, six in ten businesses surveyed said they were using data to assess risk and monitor procurement and supply.

“With the enormous growth in available data, businesses don’t need just any information, rather data that’s carefully curated, timely and accurate,” said Chief Data Scientist Anthony Scriffignano.

“In other words, data that’s fit for purpose. Companies have needed to change how they make sense of information and form predictions based on that information for some time, but the pandemic has pushed that imperative right up the business agenda.

it’s vital not to overlook the existing workforce, instituting continuous learning to ensure that skills stay fresh and relevant

“Thinking about whether data is accurate and actually reflects what’s going on – or is in fact obsolete and irrelevant – is key.”

Many bosses also admitted that they were falling short when it comes to their ability to manage data. In particular, they were concerned:

  • about the accuracy of the data that their business stores for planning purposes.
  • that their business won’t have the technology to take full advantage of data
  • and that their business is moving too slowly to make full use of data.

Even when they do have a data strategy in place, businesses are struggling to manage it and put in measures to combat fraud. As a result, over a quarter of projects fail to meet business requirements on average.

Scriffignano added: “Simply having access to tools that process data won’t mean a business is using them wisely. Talent has to be a key focus for the leadership team. Data skills should be in the business on purpose, not by accident.

“In addition to recruiting for new talent in the business, it’s vital not to overlook the existing workforce, instituting continuous learning to ensure that skills stay fresh and relevant. Leaders are responsible for setting a tone where people are willing to learn, including the senior team themselves – because as we know, data insight is becoming more critical to the CV of the CEO too.”

Access the report here  

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