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Infrastructure and Operations

Does Your Enterprise Encourage a Data-Driven Culture?

Many digital leaders recognize the competitive factor data plays, but most still can’t say they run data-driven businesses

Enterprises are increasingly recognizing the competitive differentiator that data and analytics can play for them, but they still struggle to build data-driven organizations. So says a new report out this week from New Vantage Partners (NVP), which explored the budgetary plans and attitudes held by C-suite executives for big data and AI initiatives.

The Big Data and AI Executive Survey 2019 found that at today almost half of executives say their organization competes based on data and analytics. The report authors say this reflects a huge change in attitude compared to 2006 when perhaps 5 percent of executives would have named data a differentiator.

Unsurprisingly, this has juiced the spending numbers. The survey showed that 92 percent of survey participants are increasing their pace of investing in big data and AI, and 88 percent reporting a greater sense of urgency to invest in these initiatives. Approximately one in five companies is spending over $50 million annually on big data and AI, and 21 percent said they’re spending over $500 million.

The problem is that too much money is being poured into the technology without making appropriate culture changes so that data is being applied effectively throughout the business. More than 77 percent of organizations say that business adoption of data initiatives remains a huge challenge—and only 5 percent off those report that this stumbling block is due to technology.

Tellingly, fewer than one in three organizations report that they have instilled a “data culture” in their workforce.

“We hear little about initiatives devoted to changing human attitudes and behaviors around data,” write Thomas H. Davenport and Randy Bean of NVP in the report. “Unless the focus shifts to these types of activities, we are likely to see the same problem areas in the future that we’ve observed year after year in this survey.

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