Study reveals dark data impeding successful DataOps strategies

Quest Software, a systems management, data protection, and security software provider, in collaboration with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), has released the 2022 State of Data Governance and Empowerment Report, an annual report highlighting the top challenges and innovations in data governance, data management and DataOps.

The report found that data quality has overtaken data security as the top driver of data governance initiatives, with 41 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that their business decision-making relies fundamentally on trustworthy, quality data.

At the same time, however, upwards of 45 per cent of IT executives polled say that “data quality is the biggest detractor from ROI in data governance efforts.”

Patrick Nichols, CEO of Quest, said, “business users at all technical levels have an edge when they have full visibility into, control over and confidence in their data.

“Trustworthy data and efficient data operations have never been more influential in determining the success or failure of business goals. When people lack access to high-quality data and the confidence and guidance to use it properly, it’s virtually impossible for them to reach their desired outcomes.”

Key findings revealed that:

  • Nearly 25 per cent of respondents said at least 71 per cent of their enterprise’s data is dark.
  • 46 per cent identified a lack of source-data quality as an impediment to maximizing its use.
  • 90 per cent see DataOps as the key to overcoming data management challenges, and “most successful when paired with increased automation and expanded access.”

Of note is that business leaders struggle not only to make sense of their data, but to locate it and use it in the first place, with 42 per cent of survey respondents saying at least half of their data was “dark data” – retained by the organization, but unused, unmanageable and unfindable. An influx in dark data and a lack of data visibility often leads to downstream bottlenecks, impeding the accuracy and effectiveness of operational data.

Businesses, said Nichols, “can’t utilize data, much less optimize it for the benefit of their organization, if they can’t actually see it. IT leaders must make data empowerment their first priority, enabling their organizations to leverage business intelligence, creating a single source of the truth to succeed in today’s data-driven world.”

Mike Leone, senior analyst at ESG said, “today’s businesses are all but forced to be data-driven and evidence-based in their strategies, yet still face significant obstacles that prevent their people from being fully empowered to bring data to every decision.

“Organizations that invest in building a data-first culture – fueled by automation in DataOps processes, high-quality data, holistic governance, and enterprise-wide accessibility – to drive business success, will have the advantage.”

According to a release, ESG conducted the study with 220 business and IT professionals responsible for and/or familiar with data governance and empowerment strategies, investments and operations at their respective organizations.

All organizations had 1,000+ employees and annual revenues of US$100 million or more.

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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