Is Your Business Getting The Most From Its Data?

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Study by Iron Mountain and PwC finds that two thirds of UK companies are falling short

British businesses have been advised to make further investment to ensure they are getting the full value out of the information they gather on a daily basis, a new survey has warned.

Overall, just four percent of businesses are able to extract the full value from the information they hold, with over a third (36 percent) lacking the tools and skills they need to do so.

As a result, 43 percent of the European and North American companies surveyed obtain little tangible benefit from their information, and 23 percent derive no benefit whatsoever.


big dataThat’s according to information management experts Iron Mountain, which teamed up with PwC to launch an ‘Information Value Index’, analysing how well different businesses in different countries currently manage and use their information for competitive advantage.

With an average score of 50.1 out of an ideal score of 100, the index confirms that the vast majority of businesses ‒ regardless of size, geography or sector ‒ have a long way to go before they can fully release the value from their information.

The UK in fact scored slightly lower, with an average score of 46.9, and the findings show that, despite the belief held by nearly two thirds (64 percent) of UK business leaders that they are already making the most of their information.

However when pressed, the actual situation revealed a worrying lack of tools. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of UK firms surveyed don’t employ data analysts to extract value from information, or lack the data interpretation skills (19 percent) or insight application capabilities (27 percent) required to turn information into the decision-ready facts, targeted marketing campaigns and improved processes, innovation that deliver a return on information.

The study also reveals that many UK organisations are failing to effectively manage their information as it travels through the business. Nearly one in five doesn’t believe the organisation knows what information it holds (16 percent), how it flows through the business and where it is either most valuable (28 percent) or most vulnerable (23 percent).

“How businesses think and talk about their information has changed,” said Elizabeth Bramwell, director at Iron Mountain. “The conversation is bigger now. Risk and reputation still feature prominently, but the discussion now includes the idea that making the most of information can improve operations, open up new opportunities and help secure competitive advantage.

“Our research with PwC shows how a lack of skills and technical capabilities as well as a number of cultural factors are holding many companies back from achieving this goal. The impact of this shortfall is felt right up to the board room. Businesses that don’t catch up with the front runners in their industry risk becoming irrelevant.”

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