Most Brit workers are interacting with data more this year than last but feel they don’t have the tools to make business-critical decisions, QlikTech finds
The data deluge is in danger of leaving some companies struggling because they do not have the right tools in place to get the most out of their data, according to a new report from QlikTech.
The report says that businesses are not using their employees to their full potential in terms of enabling them to analyse and use the huge quantities of data being generated.
According to the survey, a massive 93% of British workers believe they are dealing with data at work more than or at least as much as they were last year. However, only 28% have actually used this data to discover something new that could benefit their business.
There is certainly a willingness from workers to use business intelligence tools to help them make better decisions. According to QlikTech, 35% said they would be willing to do more data analysis if the systems were easier to use.
Speaking at a roundtable in London discussing the results, Rene Batsford, head of IT at sandwich chain Eat, said his company’s experience of using the QlikView business intelligence platform.
"It can be a slog to get information out of data," he said. "There may be different sources and different versions. Now we can get a real-time view of stock levels and so on. Data analysis is far more interactive, and visual, so it’s far easier for the whole business to understand it. It’s about moving beyond data crunching to actually doing something with it."
The survey also revealed that despite the wide range of analytics tools available on the market, over half (53%) of British workers still rely on a gut instinct when making a business-critical decision, rather than using the data that is available to them.
"In tough times, organisations need to be unlocking the hidden potential of their most important assets, their employees, by empowering individuals with Business Discovery tools to explore business data, for valuable new growth opportunities," said Sean Farrington, RVP Northern Europe & MD UK & Ireland at QlikTech.
"Our survey suggests this isn’t happening. Instead, we’re seeing worrying evidence of a short-sighted, ‘tick box’ approach to report-led decision making, where employees are given reports and dashboards that don’t really tell them anything useful, and are asked to draw conclusions they cannot see," he added.
As Farrington points out, QlikTech pitches itself as a business discovery company rather than as a traditional business intelligence (BI) vendor. Speaking to CBR earlier this year Donald Farmer, QlikView product advocate and former Microsoft employee, said that BI tools have to switch to be more user-centric to reflect the changing way people interact with technology at the workplace.
Traditionally BI was managed centrally by IT, Farmer said. Users would request analysis of certain data and would then receive a report. However with many end-users now using mobile devices for their everyday work they are taking a much more hands-on approach to analysing corporate information.
"That’s important because that’s the way the new consumer thinks about technology – it’s what you choose to do your job better," Farmer told CBR.
The survey was carried out by YouGov on behalf of QlikTech and spoke to 1,000 white collar British workers in large organisations.