The 2022 Talend Data Health Barometer report has been released with findings that indicate data literacy and trust problems. Get the details here.

Team of marketing department are looking over the data.
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Whether they know it or not, every organization is generating and using data in their daily operations. But do they know how to use it to its full potential? And more importantly, does everyone, regardless of their seniority and department, understand how to reap the benefits of their business’s data while maintaining data quality, security and agility?

SEE: Hiring Kit: Database engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

Today, Talend released its 2022 Data Health Barometer, the company’s second annual report that examines how global data experts — everyone from the CEO to the BI analyst — feels about the state of data in their organization. The report discusses important topics like data quality and data governance, but its most compelling findings relate to data literacy, data trust and how different groups of people within the organization are failing to use data well because of these two important concepts.

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About the Talend Data Health Barometer

The Data Health Barometer is a report that covers survey results collected by Talend, a top global data management and data integration company, on how different companies view the state of their organization’s data health. The survey was completed by 900 data experts and leaders from different companies, departments, backgrounds and experience levels.

A variety of data roles are represented, but these four core groups are key to understanding the nuance in how different teams approach and understand data: Data leaders, who manage the teams that most closely deal with data health; data experts, who most closely interact with and understand the technical side of data should be used; the IT side, which is anyone who is looking at data’s technical quality and use cases; and the business side, which cares most about how data impacts daily operations, revenue and the overall success of the business.

In this particular survey, 64% of respondents come from the IT side while 36% represent the business side.

Data Health Barometer: Respondents’ data roles and responsibilities

Data roles and responsibilities Percent of respondents
Data delivery 25%
Data analysis 22%
Data analysis and delivery 21%
Data team management 32%

Key findings of the Talend report

The Data Health Barometer report discusses several different issues related to data health, a concept which goes beyond data quality to consider how well data has been integrated into business outcomes. These are some of the most interesting statistics that the report revealed:

  • Data health confidence decreased since 2021: In data health metrics for timeliness, accuracy, consistency, accessibility and completeness, 2022 respondents scored themselves approximately 10 points lower than they did in the 2021 report.
  • Gaps in agility and accessibility: 41% of those surveyed reported that they do not have quick access to the data they need.
  • Security, compliance and governance challenges: 37% of respondents say that their organization struggles to meet security and compliance requirements, while 23% say they are not prepared for incoming data security and privacy regulations.
  • A need for improved data roadmaps: Less than 50% of respondents’ organizations are reportedly using data to develop new products and services, though many are hoping to use data for new AI/ML functionality in the future.
  • Lacking data literacy across the organization: 65% of respondents believe their companies have a data literacy problem, while 74% are not certain that everyone understands the data they work with and how it applies to their job role.

The data literacy statistics from this survey are particularly alarming, but there are several easy fixes for companies that want to improve their data literacy. Consider these data literacy programs from Coursera as a starting point for your company’s data literacy strategies.

Building data literacy and trust across the business

The biggest data health concerns that the Data Health Barometer has uncovered are how few people have the necessary data literacy, skills and trust to use business data effectively. And while many of these surveyed companies claim to have a data literacy program in place, they still report concerns about their company’s data literacy and quality. Why is that the case?

Several responses reveal a disconnect that exists among data experts and leaders on different sides of the business. No doubt, a lack of communication and unified data strategy across the organization is contributing to the data problem these leaders are seeing.

According to the survey results, these are the biggest leadership inconsistencies that exist today:

  • 68% of data leaders believe it is easy to use data to drive business initiatives and impact, and only 54% of data experts agree with them.
  • 87% of data leaders believe their company is effectively extracting value from data, and only 78% of data experts agree with them.
  • 17% of data leaders and experts on the IT side doubt the success of their future roadmap’s data and digital transformation projects, and doubt increases on the business side, with 26% of business-side leaders and experts doubting the success of these projects.

Data literacy and confidence problems are starting at the top of organizations and aren’t getting resolved. Whether it’s a lack of communication or a lack of common strategy that’s leading to this problem, the divide between how the IT sides and the business sides of businesses view data is only growing.

This report clearly indicates that a divided understanding of what data means for business success is surely trickling down and contributing to the data literacy problem so many of these respondents are concerned about. In the coming years, it will be important for data experts and leaders on both the IT and the business sides of companies to get on the same page if they’re serious about increasing data literacy and trust across their organizations.

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