Why employees are wasting two hours every day looking for data

Issues with data management also become longer-term hazards for businesses

Workers in the UK have been criticised over the decades for not being as productive as their European colleagues, but could poor data management be to blame?

A new study by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Veritas Technology, the data protection specialist, has discovered that UK employees are losing an average of two hours each day looking for data, resulting in a 16 per cent fall in workforce efficiency. According to the study, respondents in the UK estimated that their business had lost at least £1.2m each year due to the challenges posed by managing data.

In contrast, the new report – entitled The Value of Data – found that UK organisations that invest in competent data management solutions had reported improved employee productivity and cost savings as a result of these measures. Just over three-quarters of the respondents (76 per cent) claimed to have reduced their costs, while 73 per cent claimed that their employees have become empowered to become more productive.

Issues with data management also become longer-term hazards for businesses, with 24 per cent of the respondents claiming that poor data practices are responsible for reducing the competitive advantage of businesses. 19 per cent also felt that poor practices had made their organisation more vulnerable to threats to data security.

Veritas Northern Europe’s senior director, Jasmit Sagoo, explained that organisations that have access to a variety of data can establish significant opportunities if the data is used intelligently; however, many employees waste valuable time in searching for potentially business-critical and useful data within fragmented IT environments.

Organisations that invest in caring for their data, which is their most vital digital asset, will be rewarded with improved productivity and employee efficiency and provided with valuable competitive advantages. Data is now of utmost importance in business, as it enables employees to make balanced and informed decisions instead of relying upon impulse. The latter, of course, carries a great deal of risk.

Beyond these productivity challenges, almost all organisations in the UK (97 per cent) felt that they were missing out on important business opportunities due to the poor management of data. 33 per cent of the respondents admitted that data challenges have led to a rise in operating costs, with 37 per cent admitting that they had lost out on valuable new revenue opportunities.

Many organisations are faced with daily uncertainty over whether their data is protected and where it is located. Unless this is addressed, organisations risk damage to their reputation, exposure to threats to security, compromised business agility and lethargy in decision making, even at the highest levels.

In the digital economy of today, organisations must implement strategies and technologies that will empower employees to control data with complete visibility to obtain success. Only then will organisations be able to action and identify areas of opportunity and risk, which will unlock the real value of the data.

The respondents comprised 1,500 data managers and IT decision makers from the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, the UAE, Switzerland, Germany, France, the UK and the US, with the survey conducted in October and November 2018.

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