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Organisations making decisions based on outdated data - report

More than half of organisations are making decisions based on outdated data, according to new research. 

A global survey of 2,500 data decision makers commissioned by high-performance analytics database Exasol found than while 84% of organisations are under increasing pressure to make faster decisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 58% don't have access to real-time insights.

Exasol's report: Accelerating data-driven decision making: 5 ways to turn crisis-mode into business as usual further reveals that 63% of respondents confirm that daily insights are needed to make informed business decisions, but these are hampered by long query run times. 

Seventy five percent of respondents have to wait between two hours and a full day for a query to come back, and only 15% of respondents query run times are between 15 and 60 minutes. More than half (56%) believe they cant make informed decisions based on their organisations data.

"As a healthcare, retail, or financial services business you cannot afford to make decisions based on yesterdays data," says Rishi Diwan, chief product officer of Exasol. 

"If the pandemic has made one thing clear its that business conditions can turn on a dime, yet 6 in 10 businesses find themselves saddled with decision-making infrastructure that is just not responsive enough," he says.

The research also exposes ample pessimism among data and IT professionals regarding the extent to which current infrastructure set-ups can power a crisis recovery. 

According to the research:

  • More than half (51%) believe their organisations data infrastructure will need improvements in order to help them recover from macro or micro economic challenges.
  • The top areas highlighted for performance improvement include data literacy (84%), data infrastructure (55%) and data quality (33%). However, 85% report action being taken to improve literacy across the business, which is an encouraging sign.
  • Of the 36% of organisations that have increased the size of their decision-making teams during the COVID-19 pandemic to compensate the long time-to-insights, 86% have experienced an increase in decision-making speed.
  • More than two thirds of respondents (69%) reported receiving a higher number of data analytics requests from both multiple business departments and their end-users in recent months.

Going forward, 45% of respondents agreed that demand for data analytics will continue to rise. While the bulk of these requests is expected to come from marketing, operations and sales, demand from all areas is expected to increase, adding to the urgency for organisations to review their data-driven decision-making capabilities.

"One way that organisations compensate for the long time-to-insights during the COVID-19 pandemic is by expanding the number of people with decision-making authority," says Mathias Golombek, chief technology officer at Exasol. 

"Our research clearly shows that organisations want to increase their speed and agility regarding data-driven decisions. Data-democratisation and self-service analytics across the organisation are the ultimate goal, but existing legacy systems are struggling with these workloads," he says.

"That's where a reduction of query response times from hours to seconds is a game changer."