As organizations move further along their digital transformation journeys, it has become clear that data alone is not a competitive differentiator; it’s what organizations are able to accomplish with data that counts, whether that’s improved profitability, increased innovation, or better customer experiences.

Most organizations are gathering and attempting to use increasing volumes of internal and external data, but some are doing that much more effectively than others, a recent survey by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found. One third of the 311 survey respondents have shown themselves to be data-to-value leaders (“leaders”), as they say their organizations are very effective at harnessing data to create new business value. More than 95% of these leaders have a clear enterprise strategy for managing and extracting value from their data, and for collecting and incorporating external sources of data, versus less then 60% of all other respondents. As a result, these leaders are more connected, more up-to-date, and more intelligent.

With this research, Harvard Business Review Analytic Services explores the biggest hurdles organizations face in extracting business value from data; the importance and challenges of data democratization, multi-cloud management, and measuring the business return on data investments; and how leaders are meeting these challenges most effectively to transform their data into exponential business value.

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