New research commissioned by Exasol, the analytics database, finds that 63% of UK data decision makers experience resistance from employees in adopting data-driven methods. They believe employee resistance is due to anxiety over job redundancy if all decisions are based on data (39%) a lack of understanding (39%) and a lack of education on the positive impact data can have (36%).
Exasol’s report: Data Strategy and Culture: Paving the Way to the Cloud, based on a global survey of 2,000 data decision makers, also discovers that part of the problem of data acceptance lies in 40% of respondents admitting that data strategy is not being driven by anyone in the business. This lack of clear direction and communication about the benefits of a data-driven approach hinders employees’understanding and hampers business growth.
“At a time when data analytics is becoming mission-critical to businesses there is a need for organisations to have a clear data-driven strategy that all employees and stakeholders are bought into. This is the catalyst to achieving a shift in culture that a data-driven strategy demands as every employee will come to understand that rather than threaten jobs, an effective data strategy that encourages the democratisation of data, opens the door to exciting new career opportunities and progression,” said Helena Schwenk, Market Intelligence Lead at Exasol.
Legacy IT infrastructures were also cited as an obstacle to democratising data by 79% of respondents. Anything that prevents organisations from opening up access to data across the business can thwart efforts to become data driven, leading to uncertainty. Democratising data gives employees across every business function access to customised up-to-date reporting on key business metrics relevant to their job, which empowers them and involves them more in the business.
Positively, 44% respondents believe that a cloud model could make it easier to democratise data across an organisation. Of those that have already moved data workloads to the cloud, positive impacts include faster query / response times (47%), improved ease of access and shareability of data (42%) and faster development of new data applications (41%). Flexibility is crucial and this is where a hybrid cloud approach can really deliver. Sensitive workloads can stay on-premises while the public cloud can be used to manage less critical information.
“Data analytics needs to be seen as a contributor to the day-to-day business. Data democratisation makes data an open and useful asset rather than a gated and confusing resource that’s only accessed by a few. If implemented in the correct way, this will change UK workers’ perceptions of data and see them turning data into business value faster than ever before,” continues Schwenk.