Effective use and management of data and analytics are necessary to keep companies alive through 2025, according to a Tuesday report from NTT Data and Oxford Economics.
The overwhelming majority of the 500 executives surveyed agreed that data is critical to overall financial performance (90%), growth (88%), improving the customer experience (92%), and improving the employee experience (79%). Additionally, 83% agreed that data will be a competitive differentiator for their company moving forward.
Different industries use data for varying purposes, and are maturing in this usage at different rates, the report found. Financial services and telecommunications are the furthest along in their adoption of technology and proficiency of data management and use.
SEE: The Power of IoT and Big Data (Tech Pro Research)
The Internet of Things (IoT) was ranked as critical for more than half of respondents from the automotive, financial services, and telecom sectors, and for about half of those in insurance, according to the report. In three years, IoT will be mainstream across many industries, led by telecom (84% said it will be important or critical), automotive (76%), financial services (73%), and insurance (70%).
While many companies are leveraging big data, managing it effectively has been a larger challenge, the report found. More than two-thirds of executives said they had developed an overarching strategy for data use and management, but far fewer have taken concrete steps, such as setting clear policies for data use (51%), or sharing data across the business (25%), or sharing data with partners and suppliers (22%), according to the report.
Here are five steps for businesses to become data leaders, according to the report:
- Respect the newly empowered consumer. Seek to understand their differences and sensitivities. Be transparent with data policies.
- Prepare for regulatory expansion and hone change management skills. Develop processes and capabilities to stay ahead of external and internal changes
- Incorporate data strategy into your overall business plan. Make technology investments as part of a larger strategy across the organization.
- Treat data as a valuable asset, and protect it accordingly. Recognize that security will remain a challenge of the digital era.
- Invest in talent, partnerships, and training. Build the right mix of skills needed in the data economy
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Executives agree that data is critical to overall financial performance (90%), growth (88%), improving the customer experience (92%), and improving the employee experience (79%). — NTT Data, 2018
- More than two-thirds of executives have developed an overarching strategy for data use and management, but fewer have taken concrete steps to do so. — NTT Data, 2018
- How big data is changing farming (PDF download) (TechRepublic)
- Shell drills for data insights (ZDNet)
- Cheat sheet: How to become a data scientist (TechRepublic)
- AI and big data converge to improve your airport customer experience (ZDNet)
- How to avoid big data project failures: Your 5-step guide (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.