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Midsize Businesses Battling Data Brain Drain

Nearly all of the UK's midsize companies suffer from poor-quality data, according to a recent study conducted by IBM. The study of 100 board-level decision makers of mid-market organisations also found that two thirds of them rely on error-prone manual processes to deal with data.

The new study reveals that nearly half of respondents (46%) admitted concern about the overall integrity of their information they use to make critical business decisions.

"In a challenging economic climate, organisations need to have confidence in their business decisions and the data that underpins them", said Clive Longbottom, Service Director at Quocirca. "Inaccurate data can trigger huge problems causing critical damage to an organisation."

The research also revealed a worrying attitude towards managing business performance within UK organisations, with only 7% constantly monitoring key performance indicators. Over two thirds (68%) of companies do very little in the way of observation and analysis.

"The vast majority of mid-market organisations have yet to equip themselves with the necessary business intelligence tools, despite appearing to be being better informed than their enterprise-size cousins about the value they bring", Longbottom 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"Mid-market businesses have long been burdened by over-complicated spreadsheets, out-of-date budgets and inaccurate forecasts.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", said James Bureau, senior sales manager, at IBM business partner Inca Software.

Another area highlighted in the research was the lack of information sharing across businesses, with more than a third (36%) of IT staff either actively prohibiting or discouraging data sharing up and down the value chain. Added to this, only 13% of reports came from a single data source, underlining the disjointed data structure in many mid-market organisations.

"Business Intelligence and Performance Management tools have long been incorrectly viewed as an exclusive enterprise-only club, and this perception has to change", said Ged Simmons, country manager, IBM business intelligence and performance management, UK and Ireland.

"A growing number of mid-market businesses are already achieving significant ROI 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."



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