Last week, Experian Data Quality released The 2016 Global Data Management Benchmark Report, and I found it to be incredibly insightful. "The biggest problem organizations face around data management today actually comes from within," says Thomas Schutz, SVP, General Manager of Experian Data Quality. "Businesses get in their own way by refusing to create a culture around data and not prioritizing the proper funding and staffing for data management."

Mr. Schutz explains that "a shift has taken place where businesses are using data for nearly every aspect of their organization" and that "the majority of sales decisions are expected to be drive by customer data by 2020." No surprises there as businesses of every size look to use Big Data to drive the future of their companies. But what this benchmark report lays out is quite compelling.

For starters, where would you say your business lives on the data quality sophistication curve below?

It's important to know where you are so that you may build a map towards your compelling future. If you're not already looking at the many aspects of how Big Data will impact your business, here are a few compelling stats that should interest you:

  • 97% of US businesses are looking to achieve a complete view of their customer. Increasing customer loyalty, increasing customer sales, and improving strategic decision-making are the biggest drivers of creating or optimizing their single customer view strategy.
  • By 2020, US businesses believe data management will evolve to improve the overall customer experience, protect customer security and inform decision-making ... businesses require data management to make better, smarter decisions.
  • 84% of businesses believe data to be an integral part of forming a business strategy, yet 79% of US organizations believe it is difficult to predict when and where the next data challenge will arise.
  • 94% of companies across all levels have experienced internal challenges when trying to improve their data quality.
  • 77% believe data management is driven by multiple stakeholders in their organization, rather than by a single data specialist.

And my personal favorite chart is below which answers the question, "What are the biggest drivers to turn data into insight?"

You should also take a look at the biggest drivers for achieving a single customer view, as this is what's driving so much of the Big Data investments in 2016:

In a related article, I acknowledged that we are "Still Drowning in Big Data, and Starving for Insights." I can safely say that Experian's 2016 global data management benchmark report does a great job of identifying the shifts that have already taken place in many businesses. As Mr. Schutz so eloquently states, "Rather than relying on instinct, businesses are focused on using the power of analytics and the information they have before them to better serve customers and optimize business processes."

And frankly, this is what the promise of Big Data always was. It's great to see that we're making process toward this outcome and that we have become clear on the biggest problem with Big Data Management in 2016: Ourselves! So if your business isn't already creating a culture around data and not prioritizing the proper funding and staffing for data management, then you know why you're still struggling with Big Data. It's that person in the mirror who needs to better prioritize your Big Data initiatives and shifting the company culture around data.

What's the ROI of your Big Data initiatives? How about the net worth of the sum total of you business? I can say that because if you're not working diligently to keep the customers you have and get new customers, your competitors who can better leverage Big Data insights from a single customer view will ultimately provide a more compelling future and woo away your best customers.