Monday, 19th October 2020

Organisations' decision-making is 'outdated'

Data decisions report from Exasol finds average data queries take too long to run, yet organisations need daily data insights to make informed business decisions.

84% of organisations are under increasing pressure to make faster decisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet 58% don’t have access to real-time insights — that’s according to a global survey of 2,500 data decision makers commissioned by high-performance analytics database Exasol.

Exasol’s report: “Accelerating data-driven decision making: 5 ways to turn crisis-mode into business as usual” further reveals that 63% of respondents confirm that daily insights are needed to make informed business decisions, but these are hampered by long query run times. 75% of respondents have to wait between 2 hours and a full day for a query to come back, and only 15% of respondents’ query run times are between 15 and 60 minutes. More than half (56%) believe they can’t make informed decisions based on their organisation’s data.

“As a healthcare, retail, or financial services business you cannot afford to make decisions based on yesterday’s data,” said Rishi Diwan, chief product officer (CPO) of Exasol. “If the pandemic has made one thing clear it’s that business conditions can turn on a dime, yet 6 in 10 businesses find themselves saddled with decision-making infrastructure that is just not responsive enough. At Exasol, we enable industry leaders like Piedmont Healthcare, Zalando, or Grant Street Group to respond to evolving business conditions in real-time.”

The research also exposes ample pessimism among data and IT professionals regarding the extent to which current infrastructure set-ups can power a crisis recovery. According to the research:

  • More than half (51%) believe their organisation’s data infrastructure will need improvements in order to help them recover from macro or micro economic challenges.
  • The top areas highlighted for performance improvement include data literacy (84%), data infrastructure (55%) and data quality (33%). However, 85% report action being taken to improve literacy across the business, which is an encouraging sign.
  • Of the 36% of organisations that have increased the size of their decision-making teams during the COVID-19 pandemic to compensate the long time-to-insights, 86% have experienced an increase in decision-making speed.
  • More than two thirds of respondents (69%) reported receiving a higher number of data analytics requests from both multiple business departments and their end-users in recent months.

Going forward, 45% of respondents agreed that demand for data analytics will continue to rise. While the bulk of these requests is expected to come from marketing, operations and sales, demand from all areas is expected to increase, adding to the urgency for organisations to review their data-driven decision-making capabilities.

“One way that organisations compensate for the long time-to-insights during the COVID-19 pandemic is by expanding the number of people with decision-making authority,” said Mathias Golombek, chief technology officer (CTO) at Exasol. “Our research clearly shows that organisations want to increase their speed and agility regarding data-driven decisions. Data-democratisation and self-service analytics across the organisation are the ultimate goal, but existing legacy systems are struggling with these workloads. That’s where a reduction of query response times from hours to seconds is a game changer.”

“If you want to evolve towards a data-driven agile enterprise, you need to start with your existing data infrastructure. Not only must it be set up to support your future growth, but it should also enable data democratisation,” said Philip Howard, Bloor Research. “You should also look at whether your infrastructure can deliver the time to insight - the performance - that you need. Can it scale across all your knowledge workers? Because if it doesn't do all of these things, then it's not supporting your business goals and you need to think about changing it.”

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