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Mistrust amongst organisations when it comes to data, survey finds

There is a sense of mistrust amongst data specialists when it comes to an organisation's ability to deliver trusted data, according to new research from cloud data integration and data integrity Talend.

The research, which surveyed 763 data professionals (executives and operational data workers) around the globe, looked to understand confidence levels in an organisations' ability to deal with two significant simultaneous challenges: 1) Capturing, processing, and democratising data at speed; and 2) ensuring the reliability and integrity of the information in the data streams shared by the organisation.

The survey found only 31% of data specialists have a high level of confidence in these areas. 

According to the survey, there is a significant gap in perceptions between senior IT management and mid-ranking data professionals (operational data workers), with the former substantially more confident in their organisations' abilities.

"The different levels of confidence displayed by people at a management level and operational data workers are not surprising, but it is definitely worrying," says Ciaran Dynes, senior VP of Products at Talend. 

"What we see today is that organisations are struggling to deliver trusted data when they need to deliver it and they are also struggling to gain credibility internally, in the market and with customers," he explains. 

"Organisations need to build a bridge between IT and data workers - responsible for delivering at speed - and the people in charge of building and safeguarding trust, something which is often led at an executive level," says Dynes. 

"Although generating trust may come from the top, the ability to deliver trusted data at speed requires the commitment of every data specialist within an organisation as well as cultural alignment. This usually relies on the work of data champions, who have the skills to lead cultural change in data handling and processes as well."

Some findings from the survey, highlighting three significant gaps - trust, speed and execution - include:

Excellence of speed and integrity control: The Leaders and the others

"Digital transformation is often about speed: accelerating time to market, driving business insights or actions in real time, or delivering personalised customer experiences," Dynes says. 

"When organisations succeed in combining speed with integrity, they can deliver intelligent and trusted data in everything they do. However, despite the importance of ensuring speed and trust in data, a mere 11% of respondents consider that their businesses have reached excellence in both speed and integrity," he explains.

A significant difference between between management and operational workers

Overall, people close to data (data workers) are less confident in their organisations' abilities to trust in their own data, with only 31% showing high levels of confidence. By contrast, 46% of respondents at a management level are confident in the ability of their organisations to deliver trusted data at speed.

For regulatory compliance, one of the key criteria to evaluate trust, 52% of respondents at a management level claim to be very optimistic when it comes to having achieved compliance with data regulations, while the rate falls to 39% among the operational data workers - who may be in charge of making the practical changes to deliver compliance. 

Data quality confidence remains low

The survey shows that only 38% of respondents believe their organisations excel in controlling data quality. Less than one in three (29%) operational data workers are confident their companies' data is always accurate and up-to-date.  

360-degree real-time data integration is still a challenge

"Having access to real-time or at least timely data accelerates changes and helps organisations to make faster, more reliable strategic business decisions, which lead to better outcomes," Dynes says. 

According to the survey, only 34% of operational data workers believe in their organisations' capability to succeed in a 360-degree real-time data integration process whereas respondents at a management level again feel more confident (46%) in this regard. 

"We've entered the era of the information economy, where data has become the most critical asset for every single organisation," continues Dynes. 

"Data-driven strategies are imperative for success in any industry. To support business objectives such as revenue growth, profitability, and customer satisfaction, organisations require trusted data which can be delivered when it is needed and relied upon to drive critical business insights," he says. 

"Trust in data has to be paramount because without trusted data there can be no confidence in business decisions, and at that point stakeholder and customer trust will quickly evaporate too."