To transform data into value, more is needed to surround yourself with the right skills and the proper data infrastructure. Changing mentalities and reorganizing the company around the data are also necessary. This “data-centric” evolution is complex. As a result, only two out of 10 French organizations use data as a lever for transformation. The publisher of a data experience platform, Opendatasoft, has just conducted a study on “the uses of data in organizations in France” with the help of the polling institute Odoxa.
Rich in lessons, it teaches us that most leaders know the importance of data: three-quarters of decision-makers are convinced of the central place of data in decision-making. Data is a significant development area for 85% of them, and 39% have even made it a priority. However, “only 21% of organizations (two out of 10 organizations) democratize their data and can be considered ‘data centric’ “, states the study.
Cultural And Organizational Obstacles
Conducted last October among 541 decision-makers from French organizations with 50 or more employees, the survey is all the more attractive in that French delays in IT are often blamed on the shortage of skills on the market, the lack of tools, and other technical contingencies.
However, the study clearly shows that the problem is not technological: 8 out of 10 decision-makers declare that their organization has the necessary resources to make its data accessible and encourage its use.
Regarding skills, most organizations also believe that they have integrated the functions of data governance (68% of organizations), access management or even dissemination of culture, and acculturation of employees (65%). The brakes are cultural, as the study’s results underline: 71% of decision-makers believe that decision-making is still based on the perception and experience of managers, compared to only 20% of those questioned who base decisions on data analysis.
In other words, the data exists, and it is available, but more organizations need to use it to develop strategies. As proof, less than four out of 10 organizations have defined and implemented a general data use strategy, while more than a third of organizations are increasing their investments in data-sharing tools.
Sharing Is Still Tricky And Needs To Be Better Framed
The study also highlights cultural blockages, revealing an individual relationship to information. Even in the digital age, the adage “knowledge is power” continues to wreak havoc: why share information when it can give me an edge over my colleague, partner, or competitor? Regulations and data security force companies to be cautious, but when we ask leaders about the democratization of access to data, these are not the first arguments cited.
Only 35% of the organizations surveyed have established a strategy for systematically sharing the data employees need to accomplish their mission. For half of the decision-makers, some information is too confidential to be shared. In the wake of this reluctance, only 65% of employees likely to use the data can access it without constraint. As for sharing data with partners or customers, less than half of organizations are considering or doing it.
Proof that mentalities are changing little on the subject: in 2018, a study commissioned by the European Commission revealed that just under 40% of the companies questioned were engaged in data-sharing initiatives with other companies (B2B). The possibility of developing new products – the first motivation mentioned by the participants in the study – does not succeed in sweeping away the competitive issues: by sharing their data, companies fear losing a competitive advantage. Finally, another interesting point is access to data in organizations is still open primarily to data specialists (developers and IT managers).
Significant Disparities According To The Sectors And The Size Of The Organizations
For once, it is essential to emphasize that the public sector stays caught up: 42% of public organizations believe that data sharing is a priority issue, compared to 37% in the private sector.
The size of the organization and the sector of activity also influence the perception of the value of the data. Thus, the service sector is susceptible to the contribution of data in digital transformation: 91% believe that it is an essential aspect of digital transformation, against 82% of the national average.
In the industry sector, data is synonymous with innovation and the creation of new uses (85% against 77% for the national average). Organizations with over 5,000 employees are generally susceptible to data issues: 84% of their managers are convinced that using data improves transparency to strengthen their relationships with internal and external stakeholders compared to 76 % for all sizes combined.
The feeling of being ahead of the national average is also more present (41%). In these organizations of more than 5,000 employees, the systematic consideration of the data available to employees has more weight. The fact remains that for 80% of the decision-makers in these organizations, decisions relating to data are taken by the management committee or general management. Proof that the democratization of data still has a long way to go, including in organizations open to sharing.