Two thirds of UK mid-market businesses rely on error-prone manual processes to deal with their data, according to a study by vendor IBM.
Nearly half (46 per cent) of the 100 board-level decision makers surveyed were concerned about the overall integrity of their information that they use to make critical business decisions.
Clive Longbottom, service director at market watcher Quocirca, said: “Inaccurate data can trigger huge problems causing critical damage to an organisation.
“The vast majority of mid-market organisations have yet to equip themselves with the necessary business intelligence tools, despite appearing to be better informed than their enterprise-size cousins about the value they bring.”
The research found only seven per cent of businesses constantly monitor key performance indicators. Over two thirds (68 per cent) admitted to doing very little in the way of observation and analysis.
Ged Simmons, country manager for IBM business intelligence and performance management, UK and Ireland, said: “Business intelligence and performance management tools have long been incorrectly viewed as an exclusive enterprise-only club, and this perception has to change.
“A growing number of mid-market businesses are already achieving significant returns on investment and visibility from BI and PM. In the information age, accurate data is absolutely critical when it comes to making decisions for the future of the business – whatever the size or sector. In a challenging economic climate, organisations need to have confidence in their business decisions and the data that underpins them."
The research also revealed a lack of information sharing across businesses, with 36 per cent of IT staff discouraging data sharing. Furthermore, 13 per cent of data reports came from a single data source, indicating a disjointed data structure in many mid-market companies.
James Bureau, senior sales manager at IBM business partner Inca Software, said: “Mid-market businesses have long been burdened by over-complicated spreadsheets, out-of-date budgets and inaccurate forecasts.
“With the right systems in place, these organisations can ensure that accurate data can reach the right people at the right time to make the right decisions.”
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