Increased value creation from data is a fundamental necessity for companies in order to secure their own competitiveness. Business strategies are increasingly based on the comprehensive use of data throughout the entire organization. A key objective here is to provide decision-makers with the best possible support in their actions with the help of data analyses.



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The BARC Data, BI and Analytics Trend Monitor 2024 has determined which topics relating to data and analytics will dominate this year. Two things stand out: Firstly, two new trends that appear in the ranking for the first time have made it into the top 5 straight away, after there had been little change in the top rankings in previous years. Secondly, BI and analytics specialists in companies do not attach the greatest importance to innovative topics such as artificial intelligence (AI) for their work, but rather to fundamental aspects such as data security, data quality and data culture.


Trend #1: Data Security/Privacy

Data security encompasses the protection of data against theft, manipulation and destruction. The rapidly increasing number of cyber attacks and the continuing uncertainty due to the global political situation have ensured that data security/privacy appears in the BARC ranking for the first time and immediately reaches number 1. Despite the high priority that users attach to data security, protection measures in companies often leave a lot to be desired. In many cases, there is a lack of time and personnel resources to implement the necessary technical and organizational measures.


Data security measures can be divided into the areas of prevention, detection and reaction. Access restrictions, encryption and clear rules for data transmission and storage ensure data protection. Unauthorized data access must be detected as quickly as possible in order to limit the damage. An emergency plan is also required that defines the countermeasures to be taken so that the company remains capable of acting.


Trend #2: Data Quality Management

Making the right decisions requires a reliable and consistent database. And even AI models can only make accurate predictions if they are trained with the right data. Harmonized (master) data ensures a uniform understanding, facilitates collaboration between the various company departments and promotes data-driven processes. Data has long since become an important production factor: The provision of high-quality data and its flexible use are crucial prerequisites for bringing new services and products to market.


But how do companies manage to ensure high data quality in the long term? They need clear roles and responsibilities, must have processes in place for quality assurance and must keep a constant eye on the quality of company data. The human element is also a decisive factor: it is important to raise awareness among all those involved of the negative impact that poor data quality has on business success.


Trend #3: Data Governance

Data governance forms the organizational framework for transparent and reliable data management and defines the corresponding processes, roles and responsibilities. It is therefore indispensable when it comes to turning a company’s data strategy into business practice. Data governance formulates guidelines and framework conditions for data maintenance and data protection, taking equal account of the human, process and technology dimensions.


The application of a data strategy enables a company to gain real insights from existing data and optimize value creation. Among other things, the data strategy determines how the data is used in the business processes and thus contributes to greater efficiency and increased innovative strength.


Trend #4: Data-driven Culture

A company is data-driven when it makes extensive use of data throughout the organization and gains valuable insights from data analyses. In data-driven companies, data acts as a central driver for successful business decisions, effective and efficient processes and the achievement of competitive advantages.


The right technology is not enough to become a data-driven organization. Rather, it is crucial to involve employees and establish a corporate culture that is characterized by an open approach to data. This is the only way to ensure that the data-driven approach is internalized by everyone involved and lived throughout the company.


Trend #5: Data Literacy

Data literacy is another new entrant in this year’s BARC ranking. The term refers to the basic ability of users to collect, maintain, evaluate and apply data. This includes not only analytical skills, but also a general understanding of data models and data sources as well as knowledge of the available software tools.


Data literacy is not just a professional skill for data experts, data analysts and data scientists. Ideally, all employees in their various functions and industries should have the relevant basic knowledge. This is because data determines the business world almost everywhere, plays a decisive role in decision-making and business processes and makes a significant contribution to solving both simple and complex issues.


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