The Scores Are In – But How Does Your Data Strategy Rank?

October 12th, 2020

This article is written by Dan Potter and originally appeared on the Qlik Blog here:


Strong investments in an organization’s data pipeline result in greater business outcomes. Few would dispute this claim, reflected in the massive growth in the big data and analytics market which continues to fuel many organizations’ ambition to become data-driven.

However, frequently just one end of the pipeline gets the attention and investment. You’d be forgiven for thinking that deploying advanced analytics and machine learning tools alone would ensure that organizations see the greatest return on their investment in data. As a result, too few businesses understand how everything is working earlier in the pipeline – leaving themselves prone to data leaks with valuable insights seeping away.

The impact of building a strong data pipeline – from identifying and gathering, to transforming and analyzing enterprise data – is irrefutable. Our new research, Data as the New Water: The Importance of Investing in Data and Analytics Pipelines, produced in partnership with IDC, shows that organizations with the highest demonstrable data-to-insights capabilities (measured against their performance at each stage in the data pipeline) saw a significant impact to their bottom line. These data-to-insights leaders reported higher rates of enhanced operational efficiency (88% vs avg. of 76%), improved revenue (86% vs avg. of 75%) and increased profit (90% vs avg. of 76%).

How Can Knowing Your Data-To-Insights Score Improve Your Bottom Line?

Understanding what’s happening under the hood has never been more important. It is the only way that organizations across the globe can guarantee they will secure a strong return on investment for their increasingly advanced analytics solutions and deliver tangible business outcomes.

That’s why we’ve partnered with IDC to launch the Data to Insights assessment tool that empowers every organization to assess the strength of their own data pipeline and understand where the cracks lie, as well as receive tailored recommendations to inform how leaders can advocate for and focus strategic investments in data.

Indeed, when looking at the global picture, using the Qlik Data to Insights Application, we can see the fascinating variations in the strengths and weakness of data pipelines and their impact on the bottom line – at both a country and industry level – and it highlights the importance for companies to use the assessment tool to identify their own potential areas for improvement.

Although the global average data-to-insights score for the countries surveyed ranked at 41.6 (which positions them as Fast Followers according to IDC rankings), for example, our analysis shows a large 17-point range: frontrunner Brazil scored a strong average score of 52.5, compared with France which ranked the lowest at 34.9. It’s perhaps little surprise that these two countries saw very different business outcomes from the investment in their data pipeline, too, with Brazilian business leaders reporting average improvement in revenue of 21% compared with just 15% in France.

It is, however, important that the Data to Insights assessment isn’t just seen as a tool to identify leaders and laggards. The different priorities, challenges and investments in each region present distinctive success stories and highlight differing opportunities for improvement. The United States, for instance, saw one of the highest rates for increased profit (20%), but trailed globally in their ability to translate the investments made in their data pipeline into shortening the time to market for new products and services (16% compared with front runner Japan at 22%). Each region, industry and company have their own areas for growth.

Are You Getting The Most From Your Data?

Leaks in water pipes are often only discovered once the damage is done. Similarly, with your data pipeline, there’s nothing to be gained from ignoring the cracks and the subsequent lost insights and improved outcomes.