SOURCE: Information Builders

Information Builders

September 20, 2011 08:00 ET

Study Shows IT Decision-Makers Struggling With Access to Corporate Data

More Companies Adopting Mobile Platforms to Access Data Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 20, 2011) - A study by Information Builders, an independent leader in business intelligence (BI) solutions, reveals that three-quarters of IT decision-makers believe better access to corporate data would help improve business relationships and enable staff to make more accurate business decisions.

The global research project was conducted by an independent specialist technology market research company, Vanson Bourne, across 700 senior IT decision-makers from a variety of vertical sectors in seven different countries.

While business intelligence and improved access to data can lead to significant competitive advantages, many firms and their staff experience issues with availability. This lack of accessible corporate data can drive business users to abuse spreadsheets and result in localized rogue database systems, which can lead to data inconsistency and quality challenges.

The research reveals that only 29 percent of staff has access to decision-making data and only 40 percent of company data is actually accessible to employees. The majority of staff don't have access to real-time information and, of these, 17 percent have to wait a week or more for data. This hampers the ability to make fact-based decisions and lengthens the decision-making process significantly, preventing a business from reacting to changing conditions quickly.

In many organizations, workers are suffering from data black spots where they simply can't access the facts and figures to do their jobs. While BI systems are often readily available to desktop (70 percent) and laptop users (62 percent), just one-third of staff can use mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to access valuable business intelligence data while away from the office. More than one-fifth (22 percent) still rely on paper copies for their information, which can put them at a significant disadvantage when it comes to corporate agility, impacting their overall competitiveness.

The study reveals that many companies are making strides to improve access, recognizing the need for having the right infrastructure in place to enable data access anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

Middle managers and senior executives, 72 percent and 66 percent respectively, are most likely to have the best access to up-to-date information. More than half of those surveyed said they are looking to extend or increase data access to operational and support staff, senior executives, and middle managers in the next 12 months. Twenty-seven percent are planning to open up their company data to customers, suppliers, and partners over the next year.

The study also found that companies are responding to the need to better equip their mobile workforce, adopting a variety of mobile platforms. Of those surveyed, half are already planning to introduce access to company data from smartphones and 47 percent from tablet devices.

"If companies want to increase their competitiveness, they need to improve access to data across all levels of the company. They risk hampering any competitive advantage if they limit the availability of data for business decisions to desktop or laptop users and overlook other mobile devices," explained Michael Corcoran, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Information Builders. "In addition, they have to be realistic about the level of control they will have over the devices the data is being accessed on."

"At the heart of supporting this goal is the need to create the right infrastructure and support to enable broader access to data over an ever-increasing number of devices, either in real time or using a local device cache," he added.

About Information Builders
Information Builders provides software and services that bring smarter decision-making and streamlined processes to leading organizations in business, government, and education worldwide. The company's software is installed in tens of thousands of locations, servicing millions of users. Its WebFOCUS business intelligence (BI) platform delivers massively scalable information applications, analytics, and customer-facing portals to the new generation of information users to deliver game-changing business results. Its iWay Software integration platform allows enterprises to leverage all of their information resources to streamline internal and business-to-business processes while escalating the overall accessibility and integrity of information regardless of environmental complexity. Headquartered in New York City with 60 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,350 people and has established significant industry partnerships. Visit Information Builders at informationbuilders.com. For ongoing news, go to informationbuilders.com/new or follow Information Builders at @infobldrs.

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