Dealing with Data Disconnect is not Unique to IR

data.jpgDoes your IR office struggle with selecting the best method for delivering information to multiple stakeholders? Are some of your organization’s data capacities stronger than others?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, there is good news; other industries share in these data-related challenges.

A recent study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper) and sponsored by Teradata confirms that there are similar obstacles to data initiatives in business sectors such as healthcare, biotechnology, manufacturing, and IT. The study included a survey of 362 executives from around the world and explored how companies can help create a culture of data use and put data at the center of decision-making.

The survey report suggests that CEOs in the polled industries have a very different view of how data is being accessed and used to make decisions when compared to other employees of their organizations—even those as high up as vice presidents and directors. Nearly half of the surveyed CEOs believe employees have access to the data they need to be successful in their careers; however, only one in four of their subordinates agreed.

Also of interest is that two in five of the surveyed CEOs have a high opinion of their employees’ strength in analyzing and understanding the data that is provided to them—while only one in five of senior vice presidents, vice presidents, and directors agreed. “The ability to view data in stark visual terms strongly improves employee engagement with, and adoption of, data tools and initiatives,” the report suggests.

Companies focused on making decisions based on data outshine their competition financially and tend to be more innovative as well. The challenge in changing a company’s culture comes in focusing on top-down leadership and bottom-up employee engagement.

Three in five of the surveyed executives felt that the most effective way to involve employees in adopting data into their decisions was to lead by example. Once they’re engaged, it’s important to offer training and incentives, and to make sure that data is easily understandable and in a usable format. That combination of leadership and engagement creates a data culture that leads to smart decision-making.

These initiatives are something that institutional research offices have been driving for a long time, so it appears that higher education might be ahead of the game.

Read more about the study and read the full survey report at Teradata’s website.

What data disconnects do you observe in your institution? Has your office helped spur cultural change? Share your thoughts and comments below.



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