Cultural gaps impede NZ companies’ efforts to be data-driven

Kiwi firms attempting to gain competitive advantage through data initiatives are stymied by a disconnect between how CEOs see the current status and benefits of data initiatives and how lower-level managers see them.

"While CEOs are less aware of the problem (only half agree it is the case), lower-level managers are very vocal about it," he adds.

"Eight in 10 senior vice presidents, vice presidents and directors agree that data are unequally available.

"At the same time, 42 per cent of respondents find access to data cumbersome and not user-friendly, which further exacerbates the data-availability problem."

According to Blamey, there’s an "abundance of internal data" and a dearth of external customer and market data available, with respondents reporting a stack of useful internal, daily transaction data.

"But external data like customer demographics, behavioural patterns and market data are less widely available," he adds.

Following the results, Blamey says ways organisations across New Zealand, and the world, can be more successfully data-driven are as follows...

1. Agreement in leadership

Among the most profitable respondents, Blamey says 63 per cent say data initiatives are launched and driven by their corporate leadership and 41 per cent have a centralised data and analytics group responsible for introducing and implementing data initiatives.

Of those who say their companies underperform in profitability, those numbers are 38 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

2. Using data to make decisions

Blamey says there is also a "high correlation" between a company’s tendency to rely on data when making decisions and its profitability and ability to innovate.

"Data-driven companies are more likely generate higher profits than their competitors reporting a low reliance on data," he adds.

"They are also twice as likely to report they have a culture of creativity and innovation."

3. Effective data analysis

Blamey says access to data and quantitative tools that convert numbers to insights are two to three times more common in data-centric companies.

"And, they are much more likely to reap the benefits of data initiatives from increased information sharing to greater collaboration to better quality and speed of execution," he adds.

Consequently, companies that outperform their competitors also are much better at extracting the benefits of data - seven in 10 agree that information and knowledge is shared quickly and freely in their company, compared to one-third of under performers.

4. Improved collaboration

Blamey adds that slightly more than half of the superior performers have seen better collaboration across business units and believe quality and speed of execution have improved, compared to three in 10 underperformers who believe quality and speed of execution have improved, and only one in four overall who say quality and speed of execution have improved.

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