Without data, the economic success of companies is hardly imaginable. This is confirmed by a recent survey by Germany’s digital association Bitkom. According to the survey, the use of data is already very or rather very important for 85% of companies in Germany with 50 or more employees. In the future, as many as 91% expect that the use of data will be of great importance in two years at the latest. “Only those who have data and use it sensibly will be economically successful in the future,” says Bitkom President Achim Berg.

Companies make too little of their data

According to their own statements, only 8% of the companies surveyed do not collect, analyse and use data. The overwhelming majority, on the other hand, have internalized the role of data as a success factor and try to generate benefits from the collected data (https://www.ibsolution.com/academy/blog/business-intelligence-summit-die-macht-der-daten). However, there are considerable differences in scope and success from area to area.


Just under three-quarters collect, analyse and use data to support staff deployment, and almost two-thirds for financial planning and liquidity management. Only 27% of the companies use the collected data for preventive maintenance. Only 15% use data to simulate operational procedures or to make model calculations.The figure is even lower (8%) in relation to research.


With regard to customers, data analysis and use of data is used more to assess existing customers than to acquire new customers (48 % vs. 35 %). Almost one-fifth of the companies surveyed use data to compare themselves with competitors or use it to develop new products or services. Only 12% of the companies stated that they have implemented new, data-driven business models.


What factors make data easier to use?

The discrepancy between the importance attached to data and its actual use for different purposes raises the question of factors that can facilitate the use of data within the company. Among those surveyed, business cooperation (48%) and the expansion of open data approaches (42%) are considered promising.


A quarter of companies would welcome the establishment of a European data ecosystem, while 18% see the expansion and promotion of data markets as a possible solution. The establishment of a fiduciary managed data pool (16%) and a legal right to access data from other companies (13%) were also mentioned. Achim Berg puts it in a nutshell: “The companies should (...) be given as much flexibility as possible in order to (...) develop new value-added potential”.

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