UK business execs lack confidence in generating trusted insights from data and analytics

Execs lack confidence insights from data and analytics

Most UK business leaders believe in the value of using data and analytics (D&A), but say they lack confidence in their ability to measure the effectiveness and impact of D&A, and mistrust the analytics used to help drive decision making, according to a new survey from KPMG.

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Most UK business leaders believe in the value of using data and analytics (D&A), but say they lack confidence in their ability to measure the effectiveness and impact of D&A, and mistrust the analytics used to help drive decision making, according to a new survey from KPMG.

The report, Building Trust in Analytics, consisting of survey 2,165 respondents from 10 countries, including 250 respondents from the UK, found that most UK businesses use D&A tools to analyse existing customers (50 percent), find new customers (45 percent) and to develop new products and services (48 percent). Yet, executives do not trust that they are managing their D&A processes effectively to generate desired outcomes and lack the necessary measures to assess the efficacy of those models.  

“As analytics increasingly drive the decisions that affect us as individuals, as businesses and as societies, there must be a heightened focus on ensuring the highest level of trust in the data, the analytics and the controls that generate desired outcomes,” said Paul Tombleson, UK Head of Data & Analytics at KPMG

“Failing to master analytics will not only make it increasingly hard for organisations to compete, but will expose their brands to new and growing risks. Seventy percent of UK executives believe that by using data and analytics they expose their organisations to reputational risk.” 

Despite this clear recognition of the potential opportunities and risks of using D&A, the report also found that respondents are not very confident in the insights they are deriving from D&A, particularly in the areas of: risk and security where only 45 percent are very confident in their insights, 40 percent for customer insight and only 37 percent were very confident about their insights around business operations. 

These low levels of trust may originate at the top and filter down through the organisation, the survey data suggests. Nearly half of respondents report that their C-level executives do not fully support their organisation’s data and analytics strategy. This low level of confidence points to a lack of trust in the insights generated by D&A, which may be due to D&A’s inherent complexity, plus a human instinct for emotional decision making.

Tombleson said: “There is no doubt that subjective, gut-feel decision-making is being supplemented by data-driven insights to allow organisations to better serve customers, drive efficiencies and manage risk. However the survey indicates that executives’ level of confidence in their insights is not where it should be. 

“Transparency about the use and impact of an organisation’s data and analytics is one way of overcoming mistrust, but it is not always easy. We need to take D&A out of the ‘black box’ to encourage greater understanding about its use and purpose to help organisations trust the new insights it can bring.” 

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Nahidur Rahman, Senior PR Manager

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Notes to Editors:

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. 

About the survey 

KPMG’s Data and Analytics Global team commissioned Forrester Consulting to examine the power of trust in data and analytics by exploring organizations’ capabilities across four anchors of data and analytics: 1) quality, 2) effectiveness, 3) integrity and 4) resilience.

Forrester surveyed 2,165 data and analytics decision-makers (director and above - business and IT decision-makers with involvement in setting strategy for, or management of, business intelligence, data analytics, data warehousing, data management/big data management initiatives) in China, Germany, India, U.K., U.S., Canada, South Africa, France, Brazil and Australia. Industries polled cover banking/financial services, insurance, telecom, healthcare/life sciences and retail.

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