Study: Two-thirds of board members have no data strategy

According to the HPE maturity model, the companies surveyed have an average maturity of 2.1 on a scale of 1 (“data anarchy”) to 5 (“data Economy”). […]

The highest level is called

For the European Commission, data is the “lifeline of economic development” – but companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland still have a lot of work to do to meet this demand. This is the result of a survey conducted by the market research company YouGov on behalf of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) among 803 executives (CEO to team leader).

For example, 37 percent of all executives surveyed and 65 percent of board members and managing directors say that their company has no data strategy at all, not even as part of the IT strategy. Half of all respondents and 75 percent of board members say that their company does not systematically care about bringing data-based products or services to market. And 66 percent of all respondents (85 percent of board members) say that their company does not use analytics or AI methods (AI = artificial intelligence), but analyses with spreadsheets are carried out.

HPE maturity model evaluates strategic, organizational, and technological characteristics

The survey is based on a model developed by HPE that evaluates an organization’s data value creation maturity across six dimensions – taking into account strategic, organizational, and technological characteristics. The lowest maturity level (1) is called “data anarchy” – here, business units manage their data stocks in isolation from each other and hardly evaluate the data systematically. The highest level (5) is called “Data economy” – at this level there is a unified data management across internal business units and external ecosystems, and the company effectively uses data for value creation.

According to the HPE maturity model, the companies and public institutions surveyed by YouGov have an average maturity level of 2.1 – with smaller companies with up to 250 employees having a significantly lower maturity level of 1.7. For companies with more than 250 employees, the average is 2.5.

“There is no shortcut to the data economy, it requires a holistic approach that affects all facets of a company,” says Rainer Peters, Head of the Business Solutions Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “With our maturity model and the comparative data from the survey, we provide companies with a map and a compass.“

Industrial data as a source of economic growth

In particular, the exponential growth of professional and industrial data is regarded as a central source of economic development in the coming decades. This affects all industries. McKinsey, for example, has calculated that the exploitation of data from connected vehicles could bring an annual added value of 250 to 400 billion US dollars to actors in the entire mobility system in 2030. Initiatives such as Gaia-X aim to make the necessary data exchange between companies efficient, compliant with data protection and with digital sovereignty for all participants.

However, companies can only realize this potential if they meet a number of strategic, organizational and technical requirements. For example, data value creation requires linking and aggregating data or data insights from different applications, areas or companies. For example, information from the service can help sales to sell more effectively to existing customers. Usage data of sold products helps the development department to better align the next generation of products with customer needs.

A characteristic of a low level of data value creation maturity is therefore when the data, its analysis and exploitation are restricted to individual areas. In the survey, for example, 42 percent of executives stated that data is only available in the respective applications – i.e. it is not available in other applications or must be transferred there via individual interfaces. Almost a tenth of respondents (9 percent) say that their company has established a central data hub for all data (or a data-centric architecture) that also includes real-time data. And for 6 percent of respondents, this data hub also includes external data sources.

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