A recent YouGov survey shows 80% of data-driven firms believe they have had a ‘critical advantage’ during the pandemic, with 76% intending to invest in data skills in 2021.
This is in contrast to non-data-driven firms, which have been slower to grasp the importance of data during the pandemic. Only 29% believe that data is a critical advantage and 56% said they will reduce or stop investment in data skills. Additionally, only 36% said they are ‘confident’ they will ensure business decisions are supported by data.
The survey, commissioned by data visualization company Tableau Software, polled 3500 senior managers and IT bosses from the UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
Commenting on the results, Tony Hammond, Vice President Strategy and Growth EMEA at Tableau, said: “This year has been an accelerant of change for businesses, ushering in an all-digital world faster than anyone could have ever imagined, and data is at the heart of this digital world
“In this Age of Data, our research shows that data-driven companies are seeing clear advantages and are more confident in the future of their business. As a result, they are really leaning into the power of their data.
“Companies that have not yet woken up to this are at risk of falling behind. But all companies, large or small, can be reassured that it’s not too late to harness the power of data – the time is now.”
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More than half (56%) of business leaders considered their companies to be data-driven, while one in three (38%) believe their businesses are not. German companies take the lead with 62% saying their business is data-driven, while the UK lags with only 46% in agreement.
When asked how being data-driven during the pandemic helped, there was an acknowledgement of multiple benefits, including more effective communications to employees and customers (42%), the ability to make strategic business decisions faster (40%) and increased collaboration across teams for decision making and problem-solving (36%).
Across all survey respondents, top lessons learned from the pandemic include the need to be more agile (30%), to effectively prioritise and deliver on projects faster (26%), and the need for access to more accurate, timely and clean data (25%).