As the Ancient Mariner said, "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink."
How about “data, data everywhere, but not any of the right information I need to do my job?” I guess it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it… but it does ring true to many of the business people I talk to.
I was reminded of the ancient lament after reading that Accenture recently conducted a survey to uncover how middle managers gather, use, and analyze information. They found that people spend an average of two hours a day hunting for information, and half the time it is wrong.
Note that the middle managers, the people reporting into Vice Presidents or CFOs, are the backbone of the knowledge workers in most corporations today, so if they are bogged down hunting and gathering data then corporations are bogged down.
Some of the findings that confirm anecdotal evidence I have encountered:
IT managers were the most likely to find information useless. Only 44% said it was of value. Unfortunately, they spend up to 30% of their time tracking down that useless information.
Finance and accounting managers also felt shortchanged. Only 11% of them said they believe that their company has invested enough in the right technologies to help them get the information they need. (My comments: The frustration is not that there has not been significant investments in accumulating and moving data – storage sales attest to the fact that corporations have more data then they have ever had – but it does not seem it has gotten the results, i.e. consistent, integrated, quality, timely information.)
Managers in this area are also the least likely to state that their company does a good job at governing how information gets distributed (selected by only 12 percent of finance and accounting managers). And this is true even after they have complied with Sarbanes-Oxley.
In addition, a greater number of IT and finance managers — 31% and 30%, respectively — than managers in any other departments said they miss valuable information more than five times a week.
Read the complete report Managers Say the Majority of Information Obtained for Their Work Is Useless, Accenture Survey Finds