Just 1 in 17 firms reaps benefits of robust data strategy

Only 6% of businesses globally use, access, and share data and data services in a way that grants them all the business benefits provided by a robust data strategy, according to new research from Snowflake.

The study covers a survey of 1,000 C-level business executives and technology managers, done in November and December 2021. Respondents were based in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Snowflake defines the data economy as enabling businesses to tackle the most complex business problems and elevate the services they can offer above their competitors. It allows them to build new revenue streams by taking tailored data products and services to their customers, partners, and any other organisation participating in the data economy.

At the helm of the data economy are the “Data Economy Leaders,” which are companies that develop strategies that democratise access to data, integrate new technology, and demonstrate the true business benefits of capitalising in the data economy.

Only 38% of businesses surveyed globally and 40% across APAC are using data to inform the business decisions they make.

Snowflake identified the four key attributes an organisation needs to possess to become a Data Economy Leader. 

These include providing unimpeded access to data, no matter where the data users reside, and using data to inform all or most business decisions.

Also included are using data to a great or significant extent to advance strategic goals, such as growing revenue and identifying new business opportunities, and having the ability to share and access data securely with external organisations.

Among Leaders, 77% experienced annual revenue growth over the past three years, while just 36% of “Laggards” — the lowest-performing businesses surveyed — can say the same. 

Further, 60% of Leaders saw their market share grow over this period, compared to only 31% of Laggards.

While only constituting 6% of businesses surveyed, the Data Economy Leaders are present in all industries from healthcare and life sciences to technology to retail and CPG (consumer packed goods).

A number of Snowflake’s customers are Data Economy Leaders, using data to reveal new market opportunities, streamline processes and deliver a more personalised customer service. 

An example is Pizza Hut, where the analytics team used weather and geolocation data to correlate weather patterns and consumer purchasing habits and used this data to optimise target marketing campaigns, getting tailored messages to consumers who are most receptive to them.

Another example is Sainsbury’s, which launched a service that enables customers to instantly compare its products to those of its competitors.

A deeper analysis of the Data Economy Leaders globally revealed several other areas in which its members considerably outperform their peers, with their strengths exhibited across three main pillars; people, process and technology.