SAP-Sponsored Survey Finds Business Decision Makers Struggle to Unlock the Power of Big Data


WALLDORF — SAP SE today announced the results of a survey into the use of data visualization tools by business decision makers. The survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of SAP found an overwhelming 86 percent of business decision makers say they believe all employees in a company will eventually need to be “data geeks,” meaning they will require skills to analyze company data and make decisions based on that analysis.

In less than five years, the number of employees who have access to company data and utilize it for decision making has jumped from 33 percent to 50 percent. However, with one in four business leaders giving their company a below average grade on their ability to leverage data for decision making and 31 percent of business decision makers saying they do not currently use or don’t have plans to integrate data visualization tools into their operations companies may simply be gathering and storing data rather than deriving insights from data. Survey results back this up with an alarming 61 percent of respondents acknowledging their company data is not being used to its full potential.

As the volume, velocity and variety of data continues to increase, trusted data discovery tools, like SAP Lumira software, provide agility for analysts, instant insight for decision makers and scale and trust for IT and management enable data-driven decision making for companies.

Other key findings include:

  • Ninety-five percent of U.S. business decision makers are frequently using their company data to back up their decisions and recommendations, and 95 percent frequently ask their direct reports to do the same kind of data-driven decision making
  • On average, those using data visualization tools report it would take an average of nine hours longer to see patterns, trends, and correlations in their company’s data without data visualization
  • Ninety-one percent of business decision makers believe the best data analysis comes from specially-trained data scientists
  • Ninety-one percent of business decision makers predict the demand for data visualization tools on mobile devices will increase in the next five years

“With more than half of the survey respondents saying they don’t use their companies data to its full potential it’s clear that there is an opportunity for companies to leverage data discovery tools in order to help with decision-making,” said Jayne Landry, global vice president and general manager of Business Intelligence, SAP. “The overwhelming amount of data in business today means we’re all going to have to become more data-savvy. Knowing what happened is no longer enough, we need to understand why it happened, what will happen next or even what the best that can happen is. And these types of insights are no longer confined to a handful of small experts in an organization — everyone within an organization should have the ability to contribute their knowledge and derive insights from data.”

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

Media Contact:
Jason Grosse, SAP, +1 (415) 694-8554, jason.grosse@sap.com, PDT

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