Quality Decisions Rely on Quality Data
According to the results of a new survey conducted on behalf of Teradata, 75 percent of senior executives at U.S. companies said that the number of decisions they have to make each day has increased over the past year, and more than 50 percent said those decisions are growing increasingly complex. Respondents cited access to accurate data as a key tool in addressing those decisions, with a direct impact on customer-facing activities, including support, retention, and profitability.
Teradata, a division of NCR, announced the results of the survey during its annual Partners Conference. NCR CEO and President Mark Hurd said in his keynote address that decisions and data are inextricably linked, and that the situation for executives is not improving. "The challenges and complexity surrounding data and decision making are only accelerating," he said. "The developing crisis is getting worse."
Just how much worse is a matter of opinion. Fifty-seven percent of survey respondents said that the amount of data they were handling was doubling or tripling every year, a percentage that has remained consistent over the three years the survey has been conducted. Although "new technology" was the most often cited cause of the explosion in data, increases in the ability to collect data, and a jump in customer use of technology were also among the top-six responses.
With all that data flying around, 83 percent of respondents complained that they had to turn to at least three separate sources of information before they could make a key business decision--and a quarter of those
executives said they routinely consulted six or more data sources.
Among the 39 percent of respondents who lamented they had less time this year to make each decision, 22 percent said that that had an adverse effect on customer service, and 12 percent said it negatively impacted profitability.
That time factor has grown increasingly critical, according to the survey. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said that real-time access to data--defined as access in less than an hour--was important to their companies' decision-making ability.
In listing the operational casualties of poor decision-making ability, respondents cited their reputation among customers (74 percent), impact on revenue (72 percent) and profit margins (70 percent), customer service (68 percent), customer loyalty (66 percent), and market position (64 percent).
Citing the survey results, Hurd said that enterprises "need to combine financial, marketing, and sales data from multiple systems to react more quickly and accurately to market changes.... Regardless of industry, a solid technology platform supporting better, faster decisions helps drive operational efficiency, profitability, and growth."
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