The management spirit is willing but the data management is weak: is this what firms with data-first ambitions are struggling with?

While businesses in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) are focusing on improving operational efficiency, they may be struggling with messy data segregated in disparate silos; and shifting regulatory environments and governance priorities.

Despite quick digital transformation in the past two years, many firms are still trying become data-led organizations because volumes and varieties of data are often spread across multiple systems and stored in inconsistent formats with different naming conventions. The main challenges are making sure the data gathered is accurate, making sense of it and turning it into practical and innovative solutions.

Said Kenneth Kuek, Country Lead, InterSystems Singapore: “Everyone is talking about being data-led but very few are actually able to practice data-first decision making. This impacts their business significantly more than most companies realize, because leaders don’t have real-time information, and hence need to make assumptions. It also makes is difficult for them to have a clear view of enterprise-level risk. Dysfunctional data management also mean loss of competitive advantage and difficulty in complying with rapidly changing data regulations.” 

To complicate things further, Kuek said, many firms in the region paradoxically want more data while already struggling with current data management, according to a 2020 Dell survey. Due to various talent shortages, skills gaps, organizational silos, data privacy and security weaknesses, data could instead become a burden.

Kuek noted: “However, within these challenges lies an opportunity. Building an ecosystem that is truly efficient and transforming the way businesses use data will unlock their full potential. The first three steps to prioritize in data transformation are: to replace legacy systems, gain access to real-time data; and improve regulatory compliance.” 

Readers interested to find out more from Kuek about unifying multiple data sources, and gaining complete real-time visibility and control of data can attend his 60-minute interactive workshop at Big Data & AI World 2022 from 12–13 Oct 2022.