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Data Fluency: Empowering Your Organization with Effective Data Communication by Patrick Schuermann, Richard Galentino, Chris Gemignani, Zach Gemignani

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Chapter 3 How Organizations Struggle with Data Fluency

Few people need to be convinced about the value of using data to inform decisions. A 2012 survey conducted by the technology consulting firm Avanade found that 84 percent of senior leaders think using data has helped them make better business decisions. Furthermore, data use can help drive growth; as 73 percent of respondents claim to have already leveraged data to increase revenue.1 Increasingly, the opportunities and benefits of data are well understood. What is generally not yet understood is how to actually use data and convert the potential energy stored within this information into kinetic energy that will propel growth and facilitate goal attainment.

When tracking the progress of data use, many organizations value quantity over quality. In 2014, Facebook shared that it was storing 300 petabytes of user data, an amount that had tripled since the previous year.2 That’s more than a CD’s worth of data for each man, woman, and child in the United States. A study by Oracle indicates that the average data warehousing project costs $1.1 million and takes 10 months to deliver.3 Tremendous volumes of data and massive investments are common ways that organizations demonstrate that they are on the big data bandwagon. Measures of frantic reporting activity can be equally misguided. While we worked at AOL, the business intelligence group was proud of the hundreds of reports it generated every month and how this number was growing. ...

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