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Dark data threat to business governance

dark data

Dark data poses a major threat to governance among almost half of companies according to a new study.

Dark data – unknown and unused data – is a problem that affects 42 per cent of companies polled in the study that revealed over half their organizations’ data was unused, unmanageable and ‘lost’.

The issue detracts from decision-making, impairs data-driven initiatives, and could present security and compliance risks, according to the 2022 State of Data Governance and Empowerment Report by Quest Software and the Enterprise Strategy Group.

Access to high quality data is key to business decision-making but 45 per cent of IT leaders surveyed said poor data quality was the biggest detractor from ROI in data governance efforts.  As companies struggle with data quality, visibility and accessibility the majority of IT decision makers believe expansion and automation of DataOps will improve data accuracy and efficiencies.

The report found that data quality has overtaken data security as the top driver of data governance initiatives. While companies recognize its importance, they’re struggling to improve the quality of their data and the ability to strategically and maximally leverage data in practice.

“Trustworthy data and efficient data operations have never been more influential in determining the success or failure of business goals,” said Patrick Nichols, ceo of Quest Software. “When people lack access to high-quality data and the confidence and guidance to use it properly, it’s virtually impossible for them to reach their desired outcomes.”

Business leaders struggle not only to make sense of their data but to locate it and use it in the first place, with 42 per cent of survey respondents saying at least half of their data was “dark data” – retained by the organization but unused, unmanageable and unfindable.

“Businesses can’t utilize data, much less optimise it for the benefit of their organization, if they can’t actually see it,” said Nichols. “IT leaders must make data empowerment their first priority, enabling their organizations to leverage business intelligence.”

Automated technologies and deployment of time saving tools such as metadata management is the key to improving DataOps accuracy and efficiency in order to identify and eliminate dark data problems.

“Today’s businesses are all but forced to be data-driven and evidence-based in their strategies, yet still face significant obstacles that prevent their people from being fully empowered to bring data to every decision,” said Mike Leone, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Organizations that invest in building a data-first culture – fuelled by automation in DataOps processes, high-quality data, holistic governance, and enterprise-wide accessibility – to drive business success, will have the advantage.”

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