The race to data maturity: is your business as far ahead as you think?

While most businesses understand the importance of data, few are truly able to transform it into a competitive advantage. So, what sets the successfully data-driven apart from the rest? The critical ingredient is data maturity. The higher an organisation’s level of data maturity, the better able they will be to leverage their data to create value and unlock a competitive advantage.

Our new global study – The race to data maturity: is your business as far ahead as you think? – takes a closer look at the concept of data maturity: how do business leaders self-assess the data maturity of their businesses and how does this measure up to the actual programmes, processes and policies they have in place?

By analysing over 1,100 survey responses from senior business leaders in 21 countries, we found that:

  • Many companies are overconfident about their level of data maturity: 82% of respondents say they are more data mature than their competitors, but most don’t meet best practices that underpin data maturity. 
  • Data maturity is key to growth: the companies expecting the highest levels of growth are also the most likely to meet best practice on data across multiple factors, including data governance, centralisation, mapping and quality control.  

Our research identifies seven best practices to help businesses reach data maturity, drive growth, and unlock a competitive advantage through data.

  1. Operationalise a data governance programme. Nearly half of businesses (46%) don't have a functioning data governance programme, which is critical to ensuring your data is usable, accessible and protected.
  2. Enforce organisation-wide data mapping. While only about half (51%) of organisations currently meet this best practice, it’s critical to increasing the overall accuracy and useability of your data.
  3. Use a shared dashboard to monitor data quality regularly. Less than half (43%) of businesses use a shared dashboard to monitor data quality. This helps track, measure, and gain real-time insights into the quality of your data, and helps you take action to fix issues.
  4. Fix data quality issues at source. Only 40% of businesses have the processes in place to fix data quality issues at the production/gathering stage. This saves teams from the time-consuming task of cleaning up errors in the effort to make poor-quality data useable.
  5. Centralise your data in a shared location. Only a quarter (26%) of surveyed organisations have their data fully centralised in a shared location.
  6. Make data available to anyone who needs it. Only one in three (33%) businesses meet this best practice which can help teams move more quickly to test and operationalise use cases.
  7. Share data knowledge with everyone in your organisation. Only 38% of businesses have a comprehensive data knowledge repository that is shared by all.

Countless businesses are racing towards the same objective: to be data-driven. However, our findings underscore the inherent difficulty of this journey. The path to data maturity is often longer, more complex, and more fraught with challenges than business leaders anticipate – or even realise.

Nicolas Quairel

Partner - UK Head of Technology Solutions

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Mazars global data study
Mazars global data study