41 percent of public sector can't handle data deluge, survey finds

 Senior executives in the public sector don’t have the right tools to make sense of the volume and variey of data being collected to turn it into actionable insight, according to an Oracle survey on big data challenges.

The report, “From Overload to Impact: An Industry Scorecard on Big Data Business Challenges,” surveyed 333 senior executives from U.S. and Canadian enterprises spanning 11 industries and government. The survey focused on the pain points they face managing the deluge of data coming into their organizations.

Organizations are atttempting to manage an unprecedented growth in data volume, variety and velocity. The need for better data management is all too acute in many of the industries. The report gives scorecards on how organizations are doing and how well they are using information to drive profit and growth.


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Big data is often misunderstood and requires an industry-specific business strategy to improve the effectiveness of operational processes and the overall customer experience, the report states.

Ninety-three percent of the public sector executives say they are collecting and managing more business information today than two years ago. Business information collected and managed has increased on average 102 percent in the past two years, according to those surveyed.

The executives were asked to grade their organizations on how prepared they are to handle a data deluge. Eighty-three percent gave their organizations a C or lower, including 41 percent who gave their organizations a D or F. Only 7 percent gave their organizations an A.

Executives’ biggest data management gripes?

1. Don’t have the right systems in place (40%).

2. Can’t make sense of the information and translate it into actionable insight (37%).

3. Can’t give business managers access to the information they need; rely on IT/Systems that are not designed to meet specific needs of our industry (33%).

As a result of not being able to fully leverage the information they collected, the public sector organizations surveyed said they lost on average 11 percent of their annual budget, or $60.5 million, the report states. The figure is based on the average revenue of organizations surveyed.

Seventy-seven percent of the public-sector organizations use industry-specific applications and software to help leverage information to make strategic decisions. However, the senior executives see room for enhancement in project management, customer relationship management and workforce and asset management tools.

To improve information optimization, public-sector organizations say they need:

  • Greater ability to translate information into actionable insight (60%)
  • Improved tools to collect more accurate information (37%)
  • More customized systems/applications to meet the needs of their industry (37%)

The biggest challenge organizations face in regard to leveraging information to improve government efficiency and constituent services include:

  • Siloed agencies/departments that do not share information (37%)
  • Accuracy and relevance of information (27%)
  • Security requirements /restrictions that inhibit ability to distribute information (13%)
  • Inability to engage and track citizens/constituents across channels, or in their preferred channel (13%)

Oracle conducted telephone and online interviews with industry and government between March and April of 2012.

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