Skip to content
Insights + News/Newsroom + Press

New Research: Majority of UK Businesses Battle to Unlock Data as Processes and Tech Hold Teams Back

  • 52% of senior IT decision makers agree that their data-driven ambitions are not matched by processes and technology on the ground.
  • Only 44% use their current data and analytics platform to make more than half of their decisions.
  • Only 3% of businesses use automated reporting, and on average, organisations spend 46 hours each week gathering data for reports. 

LONDON – August 10, 2023 – New research has found that organisations are held back from accessing the benefits of data by technological, strategic, and process inefficiencies across the enterprise. A majority (52%) of senior IT decision makers said their data-driven ambitions were not matched currently by processes and technology available to them. The findings come as part of new research from Ensono, an expert technology advisor, innovation partner and managed service provider. 

The research, which surveyed 500 senior IT decision makers working in the UK, revealed businesses are struggling to use their data to make better, faster decisions. It found only 44% used their current data and analytics platform to make more than half of their decisions. Data-driven decision making allows businesses to seamlessly and in near real-time access, analyse and make informed decisions. A minority of businesses are starting to do that by weaving in artificial intelligence to elevate the level of analytical inquiry. The majority of organisations (47%) are using predictive analytics, asking ‘what will happen next’, but only 16% of organisations use prescriptive analytics – asking ‘what should we do now’.

As businesses push to take this data-driven approach, several common problems emerge. A significant 35% of tech decision makers do not think their data is accessible. When trying to extract value from data, the research found organisations face a range of common barriers to using data strategically: 

  • Platform costs: 36%
  • In-house data skills and literacy: 32%
  • Delayed time to insights: 30%
  • Data quality and/or lack of trust in data: 30%
  • Lack of investment and/or stakeholder buy-in from leadership: 28%

The research also revealed many businesses’ data strategies are immature. Many are taking a short-term view, and not treating their data strategy like any other long-term business strategy. Of businesses using their current data and analytics platform for three to five years, 31% still update their data and analytics strategy monthly. Overall, 40% reported updating their strategy each quarter.

Adding to data strategy immaturity, process inefficiencies and technical issues are holding businesses back in their use of data. When asked about how they deployed data, just 3% of businesses said they used automated reporting. For the vast majority, this creates a significant number of wasted hours as employees are forced to manually input data into a platform or a laborious process to extract data for reporting. Other notable findings include:

  • 71% estimated their organisation spends more than 24 hours gathering data for reports each week. 
  • Organisations spend 46 hours each week gathering data for reports, on average. 

Ian Cowley, Head of Data Engineering at Ensono, commented, “As data volumes grow, many organisations struggle to turn data into an asset. Businesses need a long-term approach, strategising how to leverage data to drive growth. Data architecture should match the profile of the business, centred around a reliable, singular and trusted view of their data. It should be a seamless process from data collection, storage, and analysis, and ultimately empower teams to take timely action based on generated insights.”

Cowley continues: “As data maturity progresses, businesses can start bringing in more advanced analytics. One of the most exciting recent developments is with Generative AI, and its scope to get data to start working on your behalf. Getting ready for AI should be front of mind for every business. Leaders should remember: AI relies on good data infrastructure, with trusted and reliable data – you cannot have the former without the latter.”

To find out more about the research, access the key findings here.

*Editor’s note: Ensono surveyed 500 senior IT decision-makers at UK businesses with revenue of £250m+ in April 2023.

About Ensono

Ensono is an expert technology advisor, innovation partner and managed service provider. As a relentless ally, we specialise in helping enterprise clients transform their organisation, innovate new and disruptive technologies and optimise their IT operations to achieve better business outcomes. Our dedicated team works across hybrid environments with services that span consulting, mainframe and application modernisation, public cloud migration and cloud-native development. With certified experts in AWS, Azure and Google Cloud and recognised as Microsoft Datacenter Transformation Partner of the Year, Ensono has over 2,900 associates globally and is headquartered in greater Chicago.

Media Contact: Alex Izza | [email protected]  

Don't miss the latest from Ensono


Keep up with Ensono

Innovation never stops, and we support you at every stage. From infrastructure-as-a-service advances to upcoming webinars, explore our news here.

Start your digital transformation today.