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Data silos and IT complexity stifle business potential

A study from 451 Research highlights the problems organisations face in managing data

The majority of organisations have complex IT environments with countless data silos. The inability to consistently control and access data across various repositories and native data sources leads to persistent business challenges and an erratic view of business potential, a report from 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, has warned.

The Information-driven compliance and insight report, commissioned by Sinequa, a provider of enterprise search technology, found that one in four organisations have more than 50 distinct data silos. For organisations that identify as being highly data-driven, 451 Research reported that 39% had more than 50 data silos.

In the report, Paige Bartley, senior research analyst for data, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics at 451 Research, said the ability to retrieve, determine relationships between and evaluate the relevancy of informational assets is the foundational skill required of nearly all knowledge worker job roles.

“It stands to reason that any technology or supporting methodology that can accelerate and increase the accuracy of these processes will substantially boost the productivity and output across nearly all business functions within the organisation,” she wrote in the report.

Commenting on the findings, Bartley said: “Our research suggests that concerns around data privacy and related functions such as information security are top-of-mind for organisations, but meeting requirements can be challenging. Organisations are looking for ways to leverage improved data governance and data visibility to meet not only compliance requirements, but to accelerate other data-driven initiatives as well.”

“Faced with a request such as an EU consumer’s right to be forgotten, [if an] organisation has no way of knowing whether it accurately retrieved and deleted all of the relevant information, or whether some of that data [is] still circulating and causing risk, that nagging concern [is a] barrier to becoming more data-driven”
Paige Bartley, 451 Research

The latest study references 451 Research’s Voice of the enterprise: Data & analytics survey from the second half of 2019, which found that 24% of the 361 respondents who took part named data privacy concerns as one of the biggest barriers to becoming a data-driven organisation. 

According to Bartley, when an organisation lacks an understanding of its data ecosystem, there is ample fear, uncertainty and doubt related to data privacy requirements and the ability to fulfil them.

“Faced with a request such as an EU consumer’s right to be forgotten, the organisation has no way of knowing whether it accurately retrieved and deleted all of the relevant information, or whether some of that data may still be circulating and causing risk. That nagging concern becomes the barrier to becoming more data-driven,” she wrote in the report.

“There is a business need for enterprises to understand the data their organisation has and put it into a proper context,” said Laurent Fanichet, vice-president of marketing at Sinequa. “However, prominent data privacy regulations have exposed the reality that many businesses are still struggling to understand the data they have. Sophisticated search and analytics capabilities, spanning organisational silos, are key to both facilitating compliance and driving informational value.”

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