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2 out of 3 companies misuse the value of their data

Presented by PwC and Iron Mountain, an index on how companies use their data shows that two-thirds of them do not extract value from the information they hold. More than a third say they lack the skills and tools to do so, particularly in France.

10 years ago, 82% of CEOs answered that human capital was their main asset, now they consider that the first value of the company is data. Despite this clear evolution, established by the survey carried out each year by PwC during the Davos forum, there is no real data governance in companies, including in CAC 40 companies, pointed out Philippe Trouchaud, partner of the consulting firm, during a press briefing in Paris this week. “Many of them have understood that this data has enormous value, coveted by their competitors or for criminal purposes to resell it, but in human terms, there are not many people to manage it and with the cloud, most leaders don’t even know where their strategic information is,” he laments.

With the supplier Iron Mountain, which intervenes on the reduction of costs linked to the management of physical and digital data, PwC has produced an index on the value of information, to assess how companies manage to put it to use. Interviews were conducted with 1,800 managers in North America and Europe, in various sectors of activity. “We looked at the organizational capabilities on the subject, the technical capabilities, if someone was in charge of strategic information, how the company tried to secure its data, to highlight it and to link it with the professions to develop the business model and face the competition”, detailed Philippe Trouchaud.

In France, 35% do not have data analysts

First observation, out of an ideal index of 100, the overall score attributed to all the companies surveyed is only 50.1. A disappointing result, comments PcW, but not necessarily unexpected. The breakdown by country shows that the United States is above the average, with an index of 56.7, while Europe is below with, in order, the Netherlands (48.3 ), Germany (48), France and the United Kingdom (46.9) and Spain (46.6). Differences appear according to the sectors of activity. Financial services, manufacturing and energy are above 50, while insurance and pharmaceuticals are at 49.2 and 48.2. The legal and judicial related sectors come last, still overwhelmed with paperwork. Examining the survey results, PwC and Iron Mountain find that only 4% of companies know how to extract maximum value from their information and that more than a third do not have enough tools and skills to do so. .

“What characterizes the investigation is that it is not a priority for the management committees to extract the information”, reveals Edward Hladky, president of Iron Mountain France. When companies move in this direction, it is often to comply with regulatory obligations, he points out. “So it’s not a business driver.” There is a lack of knowledge in this area and when there is, the roadmap is not very clear. “Of course, there are PoCs on big data, but not yet strong links with business, except in certain sectors such as insurance and distribution”, adds Philippe Trouchaud. The survey notably addressed the use of data specialists – data analysts or data scientists. Some companies do not use their skills to optimize and manage the value of their data. This is the case, in France, for 35% of respondents. Next come Spain (32%), the United Kingdom (26%), Canada (24%), Germany and the Netherlands (22%). In the United States, only 19% lack these skills to extract value from their information.

A less salient culture of technology in France

In detail, companies were first asked about the use of data as a competitive advantage. Some leaders admit that they don’t really have a strategy in this area and no one to take care of it. And it is in France that they are most likely to say so (14%), ahead of Spain (12%), the British (7%), Germany, the Netherlands, Canada (6 %). In the United States, they are only 4%. “In France, even if there are a lot of engineers at the head of companies, the culture of technology is quite weak, that’s how I explain it,” Philippe Trouchaud told us. Similarly, France comes at the end of the list when PcW asks if the company is strongly committed to extracting value from its data. In the lead, the Netherlands and the United States show 77%, followed by Canada (73%), Spain (72%), Germany (70%) and the United Kingdom (64%) . Only 59% of French executives surveyed say so and 27% of them believe they derive no benefit from the value they extract from their information, while only 17% of American executives surveyed think so.

IT in the front line but not always recognized

Who takes the lead in extracting value from data? In the Netherlands, it is the IT department in 53% of cases, while in France, IT is only involved in 24%. The British, Dutch, Americans and Germans say the skills to do so lie within IT teams (76%, 70%, 65% and 63%), while in France only 41% agree on this point. Moreover, only 28% of French managers believe that IT can access the most valuable data for the company, compared to more than 60% in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and 59% in the States. -United.

For Iron Mountain, which helps companies to control their information governance, by intervening both on physical and digital archives and on dematerialization, it is important to be able to provide access to information in a completely secure way. “It’s the second part of our job,” says Edward Hladky. “We recommend that companies involve the right people and not just IT”. Finally, on the retention of data, it happens that some companies permanently keep all of their documents, which for some of them is not authorized. On these issues, Iron Mountain has published a white paper.

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