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2021 Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Pulse Survey, sponsored by Profisee

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed 343 executives from around the world on how they are investing in their enterprise-wide data strategy and which strategies are most effective.

Find out how your data investments and strategies compare and learn about critical next steps to leverage your enterprise data as a strategic asset.

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Key Takeaways from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services

Executives report that under-investing in their enterprise data strategy is causing them to fall behind their competition. But experts agree that data governance and master data management are key to leveraging data as a strategic asset.

believe they are under-investing in their enterprise data strategy

say their data strategies are falling behind their competitors

say master data management is important to their future success

who have employed MDM say it is moderately or very effective

Download the report for more industry benchmarks and the steps experts recommend to improve your enterprise-wide data management strategy.

Scroll down to take answer the survey questions and see how you compare.

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North American Participants
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European Participants

Hear from Your Industry Peers

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed 343 executives and found that most believe their organizations are under-investing in their enterprise data management strategy, showing that the mantra of data as a strategic asset is not yet being put into widespread practice.

Executive/Board Member

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Senior
Management

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Middle
Management
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Other
Grade
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Rate Your Data Management Maturity Level

Industry leaders report under-investing in the enterprise-wide data strategy, but they report high levels of effectiveness with data governance and master data management (MDM) when implemented.

Strategic

Implementation of data-management processes and technologies across departments, with a formalized data governance organization.

Proactive

Implementation of data management processes and technologies across departments; formalized data governance organization in place.

Managed

Tactical implementation of data management processes and technologies.

Reactive

Awareness of the need for data management.

Initial

Limited processes or technologies to manage information.

How does your organization compare? Select the option that best describes your level of maturity.

10.5%Strategic
14.3%Proactive
29.2%Managed
36.4%Reactive
8.7%Initial

What you should know: Nearly 75% of executives report an initial, managed or reactive data management strategy.

What to Do? Experts say organizations must demonstrate the business impact of poor data strategy to get buy-in.

Download the report to learn the recommended steps to improve your enterprise data management strategy.

No matter your current level of digital maturity, experts interviewed by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services recommend implementing data governance and master data management to leverage data as a strategic asset.

Select the Data Types Essential to
your Business Operations

Roughly three-quarters (73%) of respondents say their organization uses six or more data types. Nearly half (49%) use more than 10 different data types. What’s more, 82% of respondents expect the number of different data types used in their organization’s business operations to increase over the next two years.

Reference Data* (data which is used to classify and categorize other data, such as country codes)

What You Should Know:
The fact that data is growing exponentially is hardly news. However, the variety of data might be even more important than the volume, as organizations expect the number of critical data types to continue to grow.

What to Do:
Critically, any data management strategy must be flexible enough to match the large number of data domains companies will use, such as product data or customer data — as rarely does a single type solve business problems and drive business outcomes.

Download the report to learn the recommended steps to better manage this growing problem.

Which of the following types of enterprise data are essential to your organization’s business operations today? Select all that apply.

Financial Data
Customer User Data
Product Data
Employee Data
Partner/Vendor/Supply Data
Location Data
Asset Data
Reference Data*
Third Party Data
Other (Please Specify)

No matter your current level of digital maturity, experts interviewed by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services recommend implementing data governance and master data management to leverage data as a strategic asset.

“You can’t deliver the benefits of data governance without master data management (MDM). If you try governance without it, you might have some short-term success, but it won’t sustain.”

— Nicola Askham, Director of the UK chapter of the Data Management Association (DAMA)

The Path to Trustworthy Data

Over 55% say MDM is the second-most important data strategy an organization needs to have in place to achieve high-quality and trusted enterprise data. However, only about half the number of respondents (28%) say it is actually in place in their organization today.

What You Should Know:
Despite relatively low levels of adoption, the majority of respondents (55%) say master data management is important to achieving high-quality enterprise data.

What to Do:
According to experts, organizations need to reject the philosophy that data governance alone is enough to improve data quality. The standards need to be enforced by MDM to maintain that quality.

Download the full report for concrete steps toward a better data strategy.

Do you have a master data management or data governance program in place today?

Master data management

Data governance

Yes
Yes

Are master data management and data governance important to have in place in order to achieve high-quality and trusted enterprise data?

Master data management

Yes

Data governance

Yes

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT TODAY​

Don’t let low-quality data derail your business initiatives. Learn how you can accurately analyze customer purchasing patterns, improve operational efficiency and more with trusted enterprise data.

Download the full, free report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services to learn:

  • How today’s companies grade themselves on data and digital maturity
  • How the growing data volumes and the number of essential data types impact a modern data management strategy
  • Which investments experts consider most effective
  • How to build stakeholder engagements for your own data initiatives
  • Why organizations need both data governance and MDM to build sustainable success

Download Report

Today, organizations of all sizes seek to leverage their ever-growing enterprise data as a strategic asset. Whether through formalized data governance programs or simply building a stronger data culture, they pursue these initiatives because they see data as the fuel for innovation and agility — and key to their survival in today’s business landscape.

While organizations consider data to be a strategic asset and business imperative, 60% believe their organizations are under-investing in their enterprise-wide data strategy, preventing valuable data from being used more broadly, according to a recent Profisee-sponsored survey of 343 executives by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

This lack of investment in ensuring that their data is trustworthy is out of step with its importance. Virtually all (96%) say it is very or moderately important, but less than half (45%) say they are putting a great extent of work toward ensuring their data meets this standard. As a result, most respondents feel their organizations are not ahead of their competitors.

Titled, “The Path to Trustworthy Data,” this free report includes interviews with MDM implementers and data management experts and data management statistics from executives across the globe and several industries.

Key findings include:

of executives say that having a strong master data management program is important to ensuring their future success.

of executives believe their organizations are underinvesting in their enterprise-wide data strategy.
of executives say their organizations rely on more than 6 data types that are essential to business operations.
of respondents who have employed MDM say their organizations' approach to MDM is moderately or very effective.

The Current State of Enterprise-Wide Data Quality:

This new research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services comes at a time when 60 percent of executives believe their organizations are under-investing in their enterprise-wide data strategy, prohibiting valuable data from being put into widespread practice.

In the wake of this low data maturity, companies are awash in data problems — including inaccurate/incomplete data and data silos (87% each), inconsistent data formats (80%) and poor enterprise data governance and conflicting information between data sources (77% each). The problem is increasing as well, as 82% of respondents expect the number of different data types used in their organization’s business operations to increase over the next two years.

As a result, many organizations believe they are falling behind their competitors in their data management strategy — only 31 percent of respondents somewhat agree or strongly agree that their organization’s enterprise-wide data strategy is more effective than that of their competitors.

These are just a small sample of the data management statistics available from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. Download the full report to benchmark your data management strategy and learn the strategies experts recommend to leverage enterprise data as a strategic asset.

Today, organizations and their data quality strategies are suffering because of…

Low Data Maturity

Low Data Maturity

Data Types Expanding

Data Types Expanding

Hesitant to Act

Hesitant to Act

Many Data Issues

Many Data Issues

Under-investing in Data Strategy

Under-investing in Data Strategy

Ignoring Important Steps

Ignoring Important Steps

Executives Hesitate on Data Governance and MDM Despite High Effectiveness

Executives generally agree on the key steps required to improve their data management strategies, as two-thirds (67%) of respondents cited data governance as most critical and over half (55%) cited master data management (MDM).

However, too often companies do not implement them because of their inability to gain support from others in the organization who do not understand the technology or do not immediately appreciate its benefits.

That hesitancy is self-defeating considering that the survey reveals that MDM and data governance are highly effective when implemented, as 70% of respondents whose companies have implemented data governance say their organizations’ approach to enterprise-wide data governance is moderately or very effective today.

Even a greater number (74%) of respondents whose companies have employed master data management say their organizations’ approach to MDM is moderately or very effective. More importantly, 87% of all respondents believe having a strong MDM program is important to ensuring the future success of their organization.

You can’t deliver the benefits of data governance without master data management (MDM). If you try governance without it, you might have some short-term success, but it won’t sustain.”
Nicola Askham, Director of the UK chapter of the Data Management Association

Experts on Steps Toward a Better Data Strategy

Despite these challenges and the current state of enterprise-wide data management strategies at many organizations, the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report features key steps toward a better data strategy.

Here are steps experts say can enable companies to achieve the data management they need:

  • Re-frame the data management conversation
  • Go beyond data governance and implement MDM
  • Demonstrate the impact of poor data management
  • Promote data literacy and a strong data culture
  • Working iteratively and building on past success

Read the report and learn practical steps to start your digital transformation today

Re-frame the data management conversation

Go beyond data governance and implement MDM

Demonstrate the impact of poor data management

Promote data literacy and a strong data culture

Working iteratively and building on past success

Learn more about data quality, data management, data governance and master data management from data executives who have implemented these implementations first-hand, as well as industry leaders and academics who study effective data management.

This Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report includes insights and recommendations from experts in the field, including:

  • Nicola Askham, Director of the UK Chapter of the Data Management Association (DAMA)
  • Peter Aiken, Associate Professor of Information Systems at the Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Cliff Miller, Enterprise Data Architect at Domino’s
  • Aaron Gorham, Enterprise Master Data Manager at J.R. Simplot Company

“The conversations about data governance and master data management are often framed in the wrong way. We frame the conversation in terms of how data can make the business more effective—that’s when you capture people’s attention and buy in.”
Cliff Miller, Enterprise Data Architect at Domino’s

Download the Full Report Today

Don’t let low-quality data derail your business initiatives. Learn how you can accurately analyze customer purchasing patterns, improve operational efficiency and more with trusted enterprise data.

See how you compare to the hundreds of executive leaders surveyed by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and download the full, free report to see the full survey results with data management statistics, which investments experts consider most effective and how to build stakeholder engagements for your own data initiatives.

Nearly half (47%) of respondents reported that their organization does not put sufficient effort into master data management because it is considered too hard, expensive, and/or time-consuming. Unlike other vendors in the MDM market, Profisee makes MDM an easy and natural foundation for enterprise data-management strategies and is built to be fast, affordable and scalable.

Contact us today so you can implement MDM in months, prove ROI quickly and scale to additional domains and use cases as you embark on the path to trustworthy data.

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