Access and Feeds

Data Pipelines: Strong Data Skills Translate to High Business Value

By Dick Weisinger

Headlines tell us that Data is the ‘new oil’. Those businesses that have collected and analyzed data will be much more competitive than those that don’t. But how do we know? Data collected by IDC confirms the premise.

IDC identified a cross section of businesses and organizations and grouped them into categories how strong their ‘data pipeline’ performed from data collection to analysis and finally to making decisions. The groups were called: Leaders, Aspirers, Fast Followers, and Laggards. Then, the quality of the decision making and business outcomes for all the businesses were identified and compared with their data pipeline classification.

Businesses were categorized as having stronger data pipelines if they were able to do some of the following:

  • Speed the data collection process so that, rather than focus primarily on data prep, the organization was able to devote significant time to analysis
  • The ability the organization had to determine the quality and relevance of the data used in analysis
  • The amount the organization relied on data-driven decisions, rather than decisions that incorporated human biases

It would be interesting to see more clearly what numbers IDC crunched to allow them to categorize and determine quality of business outcomes. Nevertheless, the result of the study matched intuition and found that those businesses with stronger data pipelines tended to have better outcomes. 38 percent of Leaders achieved the highest business outcomes, but only 15 percent of the data pipeline Laggards achieved high business outcomes.

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