November 15, 2010, 10:48 AM — A deluge of data is threatening to overcome UK executives, but they are still seeking more.
According to the "The Business Impact of Big Data" report conducted by Kelton Research, on behalf of technology services provider Avanade, over 65 per cent of UK C-level executives, IT decision makers and business unit leaders report they are overwhelmed by the amount of data their company manages.
Many report they are often delayed in making important decisions as a result of too much information, or have avoided working with colleagues because of the threat of additional data.
Four out of ten (39 per cent) UK reported that they "dread" collaborating with people because of the amount of time and energy it wastes due to the data deluge.
"Data overload should not be an excuse for avoiding collaboration," said Michael Isaac, UK information and collaboration lead at Avanade. "Companies must develop a data culture where executives, employees and strategic partners are active participants in managing a meaningful data lifecycle, turning data into actionable business insights instead of overwhelming clutter."
Despite the challenges created by the proliferation of data, executives report they desire more data and they want it faster. Nearly a third of executives (29%) believe access to even more sources of data would enable them to do their job better, while 55% say they still want faster access to data.
According to the survey, this desire for more data and need for speed is driven by the ability to keep up with customer service expectations.
In addition, newer sources of data are increasingly coming to the forefront, as 42% reported that they were able to use instant messaging for business purposes, while just over a quarter (26%) reported the use of Facebook or equivalents for business purposes.
The survey also reveals a big "data disconnect". Despite the increasing volume of data, pressure to keep up with customer expectations and focus on technology investments, today's companies are still struggling to see data as a driver of real business value.
On the one hand, executives surveyed say there is value in the data. On the other hand, less than half (39 per cent) view the available sources of data as a strategic differentiator for their organisation.