Data productivity gap threatens German companies

August 10 2021

Only 32 percent of managing directors and IT decision-makers in German companies know what data is available in their company / more than half want to use data to optimize their operations

Munich, July 09, 2021 - Companies know exactly which areas of their business they want to optimize with the help of their data, but most lack the necessary overview of their entire data inventory. A recent survey of German business leaders, managers and IT decision-makers by Aparavi*, the European provider of Data Mastery, highlights this uncertainty: just under a third of respondents (32 percent) confirmed they knew specifically how much data their company collects, while only two in five (40 percent) said they were aware of what kind of data they collect.

Accordingly, only 20 percent of study participants said their companies actively work with all the data they have, while another third (34 percent) said they still make use of almost all the data. The bottom line, however, is that only slightly more than half of German companies are exploiting almost the full potential of their data. For the others, data is also available in large quantities, but they are not able to use it to the extent required. This data productivity gap jeopardizes the achievement of corporate goals and thus sustainable success.

The data productivity gap has multiple causes

The specific reasons for this are manifold: among those surveyed who do not have even an approximate overview of the data available in their companies, almost one in two (46 percent) do not see this as their task, while for a quarter (25 percent) this task is not a priority. In addition, one-fifth of all respondents (19 percent) also stated in each case that it is too time-consuming for them or that they simply do not know how to obtain an overview. Managing directors and decision-makers from large companies with up to 999 employees in particular increasingly cited the latter two points as a challenge.

Among the study participants who say they have only used half or less of their data to date, 63 percent would like to use their corporate data more actively in the future, but 43 percent see a concrete problem in doing so: lack of time. Due to the volumes of data that continue to grow every day, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to quickly provide all the data that is important for a decision, for example. 14 percent also see the seemingly high cost of corresponding solutions as a reason that continues to prevent them from generating more added value from their data.

A data-driven corporate culture leads to sustainable success.

That said, the executives surveyed had specific ideas about what they would want to use the data their company collects: The most frequently cited answer was optimizing operations (51 percent) - in large companies, as many as two-thirds (67 percent) agreed - followed by optimizing costs (41 percent) and personalizing offerings and services (33 percent), as well as sharing data with business partners (30 percent).

"The results of the study clearly show that executives in most German companies still know too little about their data and are therefore unable to exploit its full potential. However, to be successful in the long term, they need to establish a data-driven culture so that decisions are made based on all relevant data in the future," explains Gregor Bieler, CEO EMEA at Aparavi. "Of course, this data productivity gap cannot be closed overnight - but those who don't start soon will be left behind. Solutions like the Aparavi Data Mastery Platform help companies of all sizes not only find their data, but also classify and optimize it entirely according to their needs. Only then can companies truly leverage their data to achieve their specific goals."

** Study Methodology: YouGov conducted online interviews with 250 business owners, CEOs and IT decision makers in Germany on behalf of Aparavi between April 23 and May 1, 2021.*

Patrizia Zass
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