96% of businesses fail to unlock data's full value

The majority of businesses—regardless of size, geography or sector—have a long way to go before they can fully unlock value from their information, according to a new report by consulting firm PwC and data storage provider Iron Mountain.

Although 75% of the 1,800 senior business leaders surveyed in North America and Europe think they’re making the most of their information assets, only four percent are able to extract the full value from the information they hold, the study notes.

The results of the study have been used to create an Information Value Index, which measures how well businesses manage their information for competitive advantage. The index shows an average score of 50.1 out of an ideal score of 100.

Some 43% of the organizations surveyed obtain little tangible benefit from their information, and 23% derive no benefit whatsoever.

Among the other key findings of the report are that three out of four of the organizations surveyed do not employ a data analyst, and only a quarter of those that do employ one are applying their skills to getting value out of their information.

Furthermore, three quarters of the organizations surveyed lacked the required skills, technical capabilities and culture to truly exploit their information for competitive advantage; and only 36% of the respondents say that the drive to manage information for competitive advantage extends throughout the business.

“When it comes to information management, many of the world’s leading organizations don’t know what they don’t know and aren’t trying to find out,” Richard Petley, a director at PwC, said in a statement. “In a 24/7 digital world, information is insight and insight is power and the falling cost of technology means it has never been easier to harness information and use this like any other asset in the business.”

This article was written by Bob Violino from Information Management and was licensed by Bloomberg.

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