By Mita Gupta, Board Advisor at Mintec
“Digital transformation is impossible without clean data.” Rob Handfield, Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management
Data is essential, and it is the new currency for global business. I doubt anyone reading this article would debate that point. So, instead of focusing on the need for data alone, I will focus on the importance of quality data or "clean data."
In my research on this topic, I came across an interview with then-Scotland Chief Procurement Officer Helen Mackenzie regarding data cleansing. While Mackenzie acknowledged that having "clean data" is critically important, she said that most procurement departments lacked the necessary resources and cycles to vet and cleanse the information in their databases properly.
The focal point of this blog is to understand the scope of the challenge of transforming information into actionable knowledge and the impact it will have on any organization.
Data By the Numbers
When we talk about cleaning data, in any organization, it is an onerous task and usually a sizable undertaking?
The key challenges are those of volume and starting point.
According to multiple sources, in 2020, globally, there were 64.2 Zettabytes of data. To provide some context, ten years ago, there was only 1 Zettabyte worldwide. By 2024 – two short years from now, there will be 180 Zettabytes globally. That's a lot of data!
Perhaps even more daunting to organizations is the finding of a March 2022 article reporting that less than 0.5% of data is "actually analyzed and used." Bridging such an enormous chasm between data capture and practical utilization is not an ideal starting point.
More Said Than Done
Recent industry research reveals that in 2021, “24% of executives say they’d describe their companies as data-driven.”
However, in the 2020 survey asking executives the same question, “37.8% of executives said they believe their companies were data-driven.”
This is decidedly a concerning statistic. Even though the criticality and volume of data in the world is growing exponentially, the percentage of data-driven companies is clearly going in the opposite direction.
Now, here is a curve ball that will likely cloud or confuse the issue of turning raw data into actionable knowledge; “97.2% of business executives say their organizations are investing in big data and AI projects." They are making these significant investments, even though 92% indicate that they are not able to create a data culture within their organization effectively.
In short, the technology is willing, but the company culture often is not!
Where From Here?
Where does your company go next from recognizing the importance of data and making the needed investments into technologies such as AI when the company's data culture needs to catch up?
While we will delve into this question in greater detail in the upcoming The BIG SEVEN in 2023 for Procurement webinar, I leave this thought to consider. To drive the effort toward “clean data”, organizations require more than a technology partner – they need a partner that is also a data expert.
Next Up: Part #7 - Diversity & ESG
Upcoming Webinar - The Big Seven in 2023 for Procurement