Brazilian companies struggle to turn data into insights

According to research, most organizations in the country believe data is key to decision-making, but only a small percentage have the resources to do so.

According to research, the majority of Brazilian companies have placed data at the center of decision-making processes, but most struggle to use it to produce valuable business insights.

According to the Data Paradox study carried out by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Dell with 4000 executives in 45 countries, including Brazil, 73% of respondents believe data is essential to their business, but only 28% have the resources to process it appropriately.

The survey results suggest that instead of offering a competitive advantage, the explosion in the volume, speed and variety of generated data has created a raft of challenges for Brazilian organizations. According to the research, this is due to a combination of barriers, such as lack of knowledge and adequate tools, as well as difficulties around integration imposed by IT silos and risks associated with privacy and security.

Companies polled for the study were divided into four groups according to their maturity in terms of data technologies/processes and culture/knowledge. Data novices are overwhelmed by the volume and variety of data and need to optimize knowledge and infrastructure to handle them. At the same time, Data Technicians are ready to turn data into insights, using multi-cloud and service models to process data at the edge, but need cultural and skills improvements to advance. Data Enthusiasts already invest in data-focused knowledge and culture but need to improve infrastructure and processes. In contrast, Data Champions can turn data into insights and have advanced IT infrastructure to do so, as well as a data-centric culture.

According to the research, 23% of the companies polled in Brazil were classified as Data Champions - almost double the world average of 12%. However, the majority (47%) are still at the Novice stage, while 18% are positioned as Enthusiasts and 12% as Technicians. More broadly across Latin America, 52% of the companies are classed as Novices, 19% are Enthusiasts, 18% are Technicians, and 11% are Champions.

Challenges faced by Brazilian companies in relation to data cited in the research include the collection of data faster than they can analyze and use it, cited by 76% of those surveyed. In addition, 74% of the respondents said they constantly need more data than what is already available.

More than half (58%) of Brazilian companies surveyed for the Dell research stated they store a significant amount of data in their own data centers and do not process the data at the edge. For 38% of the companies polled, data is divided into silos and face data integration hurdles.

The majority of the organizations polled in Brazil (71%) stated their organization's board does not ostensibly support the strategic use of data analysis.

Despite the challenges they currently face, the researchers noted that most of the Brazilian companies surveyed have plans to improve their data management practices. Some 76% plan to implement machine learning to automate the detection of data anomalies, while 59% have intentions to move to a data-as-a-service model, and 65% want to re-architect their environments to improve data processing and usage within a one to three-year timeframe.