With the spurt in data analytics tools and software, more avenues are being created for collection and understanding of data. Increasingly, both governments and corporates are relying on data analytics software to take critical business and policy decisions. According to a report from KPMG, this has put more onus on CEOs and head of departments to trust the integrity of data, algorithms and analytics capabilities but most of them do not fully trust the data and analytics on which they are basing their decisions. “CEOs want to be data-driven. And they recognise the importance of trust. Yet, they do not seem to fully trust the data upon which they are basing their decisions. The majority lack confidence in their ability to secure their data. Most say that the quality of their customer data and management information cannot be trusted,” said Akhilesh Tuteja, partner national head – technology and BPM sector, KPMG in India. For the report titled ‘Trusted analytics matter to CEOs’, the consulting firm spoke to over 1200 CEOs from Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and the US to understand their tryst with data and analytics. Around 56% of CEOs said that they are concerned about the integrity of the data they are using for decision-making and as many as 36% of CEOs were of the view that they cannot make data-driven decisions until they invest significantly in data quality.
“Today’s organisations are not only relying on the internal source of data. There is a growing trend of use of social media and other external sources of data. This has led to fragmentation in data sets and above all, compared to the past, now things change very fast. So, the ability of the internal system to keep track and making data current is also under stress. Due to these reasons, whenever a CEO uses analytics as a tool for decision making , he should ensure that the underlining data he is using is of high quality, high integrity and trustworthy,” said Tuteja. Are these challenges a roadblock to the acceptance of analytics for decision making? Perhaps no, because despite their apprehensions, CEOs are putting significant investment into emerging technologies in a bid to improve bottom-line growth, transform their businesses and engage customers but they would prefer trusted analytics.
The report suggests that use of software for making decisions is inevitable and ability to trust the data would build over time. “Those CEOs who are able to overcome the data and analytics trust gap will be better-placed to make faster decisions, more accurately and with much greater confidence,” said Tuteja. The report emphasised that there is no short-cut to building authentic data pool and ability to mine them properly. CEOs need to take a systematic approach which focus on quality, effectiveness, integrity and resilience of data and analytics. “They must ask fundamental questions like – Are the building blocks of data and analytics good enough? Do the analytics work as intended? How well aligned is the organisation with analytics regulatory compliance needs? How good is the organisation at ensuring effective governance and security throughout the analytics lifecycle?” said Tuteja.