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What’s Your Data Really Worth?

How mature data strategies dramatically improve bottom-line outcomes.

Data is the lifeblood of business. It’s what drives customer engagement, boosts employee productivity, streamlines operations, and in some cases, even transforms age-old companies into digital powerhouses. 

Take, for example, John Deere. The 180-year-old manufacturer of farming equipment is now a data-savvy technology giant whose deep neural networks and computer vision systems help farmers plant crops and apply pesticides with algorithmic accuracy. 

The opportunity to capitalize on the significant business value of data is growing. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, virtual reality — they’re all generating vast treasure troves of information packed with business value. However, some organizations struggle to find and use the data they’ve already amassed. Part of the problem is dark data — unquantified, siloed and untagged data sets that are a side effect of sprawling systems and missing metadata. More than an IT nuisance, dark data prevents organizations from maximizing the worth of their most valuable financial assets in today’s digital economy: their operationalized data. That is, data captured, organized, indexed and made accessible for real-time analysis and business use. 

To explore the correlation between an organization’s use of data and its business success, Splunk, in partnership with ESG, surveyed 1,350 IT and business decision-makers engaged with how their organizations collect, manage and use data. The findings are striking: By making better use of data, ESG calculated that organizations surveyed had materially increased revenue and reduced operational costs, boosting their profitability by an average of $38.2 million, or about 12.5% of their total gross profit. 

Organizations with a more sophisticated approach to finding data and putting it to use outperform peers struggling with dark data. The question is, how can we measure an organization’s effectiveness in making the most of its data? And how can organizations do a better job? 

Key Findings 

Organizations that place a strong strategic emphasis on data and its business value, and make operationalizing dark data a top IT priority, achieve a number of key business and economic benefits. 

These include:

  • Adding an average of 5.32% to their annual revenue, due directly to better data use.
  • Removing an average of 4.85% from their annual operational costs via better use of data.
  • 97% meet or exceed their customer retention targets, with the majority (60%) having outstripped their goals.
  • 93% feel they tend to make better, faster decisions than competitors.
  • On average, surveyed organizations generated approximate economic value of US $38.2 million — or about 12.5% of their total gross profit  — by making smarter use of their data. 

Ultimately, 91% of these organizations believe that, given the right data, their organization is in a strong position to compete and succeed in its markets over the next few years.

Data Drives the Bottom Line

Overall the research found that the top tier of organizations — data innovators — are more likely to beat competitors to market, have more confidence in their decision-making, and increase earnings through better use of data.

Data innovators get results

They’re more than twice as likely to see data having strong, direct business impact.

Data innovators get results
Data innovators get results SPLUNK

Data innovators are disruptive

They’re almost 10 times more likely to say new offerings deliver 20% or more of revenue.

Data innovators are disruptive
Data innovators are disruptive SPLUNK

Data innovators generate value

They’re driving nearly twice the revenue from data as their lower-tier competitors.

Data innovators generate value
Data innovators generate value SPLUNK

Why Data Maturity Matters

Compared to deliberators, data innovators are:

  • 2.1x more likely to exceed customer retention targets.
  • 2.6x more likely to beat competitors to market.
  • 3.1x more likely to earn 15% or more of their revenue from newly developed products.
  • 4.4x as likely to be using AI for analytics today.
  • 8x as likely to validate most business decisions with quantitative data.

Want to see how you stack up? Take our five-minute assessment, based on the research, to see where your org falls on the maturity curve — and the value of your untapped data. 

See just how valuable your data can be in this on-demand webinar or for more in-depth analysis and more results by industry, region and more, get the free What’s Your Data Really Worth report.