The trials and tribulations of data mining

The information pulled from a successful data mining initiative can help businesses create a lean, efficient and well-directed business strategy, yet many organisations are struggling to get past common challenges.

Efficient use of information

The Robert Half Salary Guide asked businesses how they would characterise their use of data analytics and mining to drive business strategy. The study found that although the majority of respondents collected data, many were unable to use it effectively.

According to the study, only 25 per cent of businesses could report an established function that used data in most decision-making. By contrast, 32 per cent said they struggled to use the data fully and an additional 32 per cent indicated that although they had the ability to access the data, they hadn't yet implemented the process.

So with only 2 per cent of businesses claiming they don't have the resources to use data to drive strategy and 9 per cent saying that although they have the capabilities, they don't, it's clear that many are failing to grasp the value of their data.

Facing data-mining challenges

When asked how challenging the implementation of data analytics and mining was for their business, the majority (65 per cent) said they found it somewhat challenging. A substantial 28 per cent also said they found the process very challenging, while only 2 per cent claimed it wasn't challenging at all.

The top five challenges businesses reported are:

  1. Lack of data available through existing resources: 39 per cent
  2. Lack of executive/management support: 26 per cent
  3. Too much data or the inability to identify the right data: 18 per cent
  4. Lack of budget to implement effectively: 9 per cent
  5. Lack of skilled professionals to implement: 8 per cent

As per the research, the biggest challenge businesses faced was a lack of resources. This suggests that investment in software, custom-designed analytics packages and the services of analytics companies could help businesses implement better ways to gather data.

The same could be said for an inability to identify the right data – a problem that businesses could solve with the right analytics packages or appropriate training and investment in a data-mining strategy. However, with 26 per cent of businesses indicating that lack of management support was a major issue, securing the necessary resources may not be easy.

Investing in the future

A substantial number of Australian businesses appear to be failing to make good use of the data available to them due to a lack of support, despite the fact that data analytics and mining initiatives can be extremely useful for informing businesses strategies.

Discover other challenges businesses are facing and how this might affect the job market going forward in the Robert Half Salary Guide.

Tags: Technology

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