By Crystal Woody, Sr. Director of Strategic Communications at Privitar 

Today’s businesses operate in a data-driven and privacy-conscious world. Leaders make good decisions and outperform their competitors when they can take advantage of insights that come from data, and leverage that data to drive innovation. But they face tremendous challenges along the way, which impede and, in many cases, outright halt their use of data for analytics. 

We recently partnered with leading analyst firm Bloor Research to uncover the most pressing challenges facing data leaders today. The Bloor team had in-depth conversations with senior data leaders at enterprise organizations across North America and Europe to detail what is getting in the way of their efficient, effective data use, and explore their data-related priorities. The result is The State of Data Analytics: Key Challenges in a Strict Security and Privacy Environment

Here are the key takeaways: 

Data leaders are leaving substantial amounts of data untapped because of security and privacy concerns.
One-third of respondents said that the majority of their data cannot be used, and 60% said that more than 40% of their data is unusable due to privacy concerns. Just 14% of respondents said that such concerns have little impact on their ability to use data. 

Data leaders are clear about their goals for using and analyzing data 
Their top three goals for leveraging data include gaining a competitive advantage (56%), reducing costs (49%), and improving efficiency (46%). Additionally, those surveyed want to use their data to improve business decision-making (45%) and to develop new products and services, and revenue streams (40%). Two-thirds (64.6%) of respondents say increasing the return on investment (ROI) from data and analytics investments is critical, with 40% stating that investments to date have not achieved the desired results.

Data privacy and compliance challenges are abundant and hindering analytics efforts 
Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents (62.6%) stated that privacy concerns limit their ability to use data effectively. When asked to delve deeper into their specific data protection challenges, 67% of respondents said access to useful data was restricted because of governance mandates; 61.2% said data protection reduced the value of their data; and 56.6% stated that complex, ad hoc, or manual data access processes created challenges.

Regulatory compliance presents another set of obstacles
Approximately three-quarters of organizations surveyed (73.7%) find it a challenge to keep up with the pace of regulatory change, and nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) are looking to simplify processes for achieving regulatory compliance. More than half (57.6%) state that they are unable to manage the risks that they face. In reaction, more than two-thirds (70%) of respondents currently have or plan to invest in a data protection solution within the next year.  

Data security platforms can eliminate barriers
The good news is that data leaders don’t have to face these challenges alone and technology can help eliminate many of the barriers they face. Data security platforms like Privitar can help simplify data protection by providing access controls and data privacy, ensuring efficient regulatory compliance, and democratizing access to safe, high-utility data. And expanding access to safe data can have a dramatic impact on an organization’s ability to effectively leverage that data for analytics and innovation.

Download the State of Data Analytics here, or speak with one of our data security and privacy experts to find out how we can help your organization enable safe and effective data use.