Data Evolution in the Cloud: The lynchpin of competitive advantage

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Many companies still struggle to extract value from data and use it to drive strategic decision-making. For a start, internal data is often trapped in disparate, unconnected silos across  systems and clouds. That makes unlocking it to arrive at useful insights complex, time-consuming and costly. As a result, many businesses today are capturing only a small slice of the potential value of their internal data.

These questions are the focus of this report, “Data Evolution in the Cloud: The lynchpin of competitive advantage,” based on a survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Snowflake. It reflects the views of 914 executives from  eight industries across 13 countries worldwide and explores the current state of corporate  data use, as well as executive hopes for the future. In particular, the goal is to illuminate how  different industries are adapting their data strategies, engaging with the broader data  ecosystem, and converting data insights into growth and performance.

Some highlights from the report are as follows:

  • 87% of executives agree: Data is the most important competitive differentiator in the business landscape today.
  • Covid-19 has made the situation more urgent: 84% agree that Covid has heightened the importance of strong data capabilities.
  • Data sharing is powering businesses: 94% of orgs have purchased data and 82% have sold data at least once in the last 6 months. Here’s a breakdown of where they’re purchasing/selling data from/to:
    • Purchasing from: third-party data vendors (58%), non-data vendors (49%), customers (47%), other corporate partners (40%), nonprofits (33%), and government bodies (31%)
    • Selling data to: customers (36%), corporate partners (33%), non-data vendors (32%), government bodies (30%), nonprofits (28%), third-party data vendors (27%)
  • They’re getting the most value from their customer data: 49% of executives say their customers provide the most valuable source of data for their organization, followed by third-party data vendors (42%)
  • And they’re sharing and sourcing data for good reasons, like to draw insights that could lead to better customer service practices (90%), drive innovation (88%), and meet regulatory requirements (88%).
  • But they’re running into challenges: 64% struggle to integrate data from varied sources; they also fear the risk of leaked confidential info as a result of sharing data with/sourcing data from external sources (42%); other challenges are the risk of data being used for purposes other than intended (41%), high cost (26%), and regulations (24%).
  • Despite challenges, businesses are doubling down on data investment. In the past three years, execs’ budgets have increased around: storing data (88%), analyzing & drawing insights from data (77%), integrating data into biz processes (78%) and customer experiences (79%), buying data from third party vendors (69%), dealing w/ data-related regulations (72%).

Download the complete report HERE.

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