Survey Finds Only 13% of Business Stakeholders Use the Right Data When Making Important Business Decisions

Organizational challenges and ineffective use of data models contribute to data issues

SAN FRANCISCO – October 29, 2015 – According to a new study – titled "Data Modeling and Collaboration: Insights for Business and Data Professionals" – released today by Embarcadero Technologies, data professionals have little confidence in the way business stakeholders within their organizations use corporate data when making important business decisions. The research finds three out of four (75%) data and development professionals suspect business stakeholders misuse data when making business decisions, while 81% believe the data used is misinterpreted.

The Embarcadero study conducted by Dimensional Research shows:

  • Only 13% of data professionals believe the right data is always being used, while just 9% say the data is being interpreted correctly by business stakeholders.
  • Business stakeholders in large companies are more likely to make mistakes with data, with organizations of 5,000+ employees ranking the highest for misusing and misinterpreting data.
  • “Data silos” – databases or data sources that are not integrated for use across the organizations – are more common than IT executives realize; 44% of individual contributors versus only 23% of executives say their organizations have many silos.

Organizational issues contribute to data challenges

According to the research, 100% of those executives surveyed agree that it is important for data and development teams to communicate well, while only 25% believe there is actually good communication between the teams within their organizations.

  • 85% of executives whose IT organizations use new data platforms (e.g., cloud, graph, columnar, and Hadoop databases) say that communication between data and development teams is very important.
  • Only 24% of developers think their data team is fast and responsive.
  • Less than half of data teams (45%) say they are included at the beginning of a project, while 25% say they don’t find out about a project until it’s too late for them to do their best work.

Data models are valued but not effectively used

Survey results indicate that developers overwhelmingly believe in the value of data models, and the formalization and documentation of existing processes and events that occur during application software design and development. But only 20% say IT leadership fully understands that value.

  • 87% use data models but only 18% have a data modeling team responsible for them.
  • 95% of developers say the use of good data models increases the quality of an application.
  • 95% of data stakeholders say application and data quality would improve if developers understood data modeling better.

Top three challenges of data modeling

The research reveals that almost half (49%) of developers and data professionals include input from business stakeholders when developing new data models. But 96% of developers report they have challenges with data models, with the top three being:

  • “Moving data between platforms or formats”: 52%
  • “Business stakeholders and IT using different terminology for data”: 43%
  • “Business stakeholders not getting full value from the data available”: 43%

Agile data modeling fosters better data and collaboration

According to survey results, just 16% of participants have fully embraced an agile development methodology; however 95% of participants see value in agile data modeling.

  • More than half of the participants rank “increased data accuracy and integrity” (52%) and “better collaboration between data modeler and development teams” (51%) as the top two benefits of agile development.
  • Only 8% say those responsible for data models are not included in their agile process.

“New technologies for capturing, storing, and analyzing data are revolutionizing the way business decisions are made,” says Michael Swindell, Senior Vice President of Products at Embarcadero Technologies. “As corporate data becomes more of a strategic asset that drives business decisions, the consequences of relying on the wrong data can be disastrous for the enterprise. New agile and team enabled data modeling tools like ER/Studio and ER/Studio Team Server are helping organizations to embrace data modeling in tandem with collaborative, agile workflows to ensure data quality and integrity, and to establish the foundation for a business-driven data architecture.”

About the Research:

Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of award-winning tools for application developers and database professionals so they can design systems right, build them faster and run them better, regardless of their platform or programming language. Ninety of the Fortune 100 and an active community of more than three million users worldwide rely on Embarcadero products to increase productivity, reduce costs, simplify change management and compliance, and accelerate innovation. Founded in 1993, Embarcadero is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices located around the world. To learn more, please visit http://www.embarcadero.com/.