Data: A Disappointing Ride Down Zero Lane to Cell One

August 26, 2022

Projects meant to glean business insights through the analysis of vast troves of data still tend to disappoint. On its blog, British data-project management firm Brijj lists “5 Reasons Why 80% of Data and Insight Projects Fail.” The write-up tells us:

“In the UK alone, we spend £24bn on data projects every year. According to recent studies, however, organizational leadership has been dissatisfied with the value they get from data. In fact, they consider 80% of all data projects a failure. That equates to £19bn of waste. And why? Because so many don’t do the basics well. They never stood a chance.”

Not surprisingly, writer and Brijj founder/CEO Adrian Mitchell suggests consulting outside data experts from the start to make sure one’s project delivers those sweet, sweet insights:

“The bottom line is that both data creators and their business customers need to be involved in the data & insight project from the initial question through to the outcome and work closely together for it to provide actionable insights and urge action. Currently, there are many gaps between the two groups, resulting in disconnect, frustrations, time and financial losses, and no real-world outcomes. Organizations need to close these to truly harness the power of data and maximize its value.”

The list Mitchell offers looks awfully familiar; we think we have heard some of these “reasonsbefore. We are told the biggest problem is asking the wrong questions in the first place. Then there is, as mentioned above, a lack of collaboration between data analysts and their clients. If one has managed to gather useful bits of knowledge, they must be both communicated to the right people and made easy to find. Finally, standardized systems (like Brijj’s, we presume) should be put in place to make the whole process easier for the technically disinclined.

Perhaps Mitchell is right and these measures can help some companies make the most of the data they were persuaded to accumulate? It is worth keeping in mind, though, that any concepts derived by software have limitations… just like a blind data.

Cynthia Murrell, August 26, 2022


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