Over half of data-driven initiatives are failing

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More than half of data-driven initiatives are failing in business, with 27 percent of failures due to a skills shortage according to new research from analytic database company Exasol.

In the public sector, financial services and energy and utilities companies the failure rate rises to more than 60 percent. And in retail and financial services 40 percent blame skills shortages for failures.


The most common initiatives to fail are data consolidation (29 percent), data migration (28 percent) and GDPR (20 percent). Financial services and IT/telecoms organizations are the worst for GDPR failure at 31 percent and 30 percent respectively. Other data-driven projects cited as having failed in enterprise organizations are machine learning and IoT.

The top reasons given for failure are data security issues (29 percent), poor data quality (28 percent), lack of employee skills (27 percent), lack of employee buy-in (25 percent), siloed data (25 percent), not delivering the time and cost savings expected (24 percent), and not being able to collect data in real time (22 percent).

"Businesses want data to work for them, and this is very much behind the rise of data-driven initiatives such as machine learning, where the algorithm takes control," says Sam Sibley, strategic partners and alliances manager at Exasol. "Investment in this area is rising fast, a recent Deloitte survey highlights that 57 percent of businesses are increasing spending in the technology. In general, this technology is no longer seen as a cost, but an opportunity and a revenue driver. However, there is still work to be done to ensure data-driven initiatives succeed and are understood at all levels of the business."

You can read more on data initiatives on the Exasol blog.

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