Common sense tells us the companies best able to collect, prepare, and analyze relevant digital data will gain advantages over their less data-optimized peers. But are there any proof points that support this assumption?\nIDC has found such evidence in the results of a 1,200 organization survey it recently conducted. As part of its survey analysis, which we discussed in an earlier post, IDC made an analogy between a multi-stage \u201cData-to-Insights\u201d pipeline and a water pipeline. The data pipeline encompasses many of the core functions some describe as \u201cDataOps\u201d processes, and consists of four steps: Identify Data, Gather Data, Transform Data, and Analyze Data.\nIDC measured the relative Data-to-Insights capabilities of the surveyed organizations, and grouped them into four categories: Leaders, Aspirers, Fast Followers, and Laggards. The consultancy then evaluated the respective capabilities of the four groupings in both decision-making and business outcomes.\nThe Leaders \u2013 those with the strongest Data-to-Insights capabilities \u2013 constituted the top 20% of the survey pool. In ranking the decision-making capabilities of the four groups, from weak to robust, IDC found that 57% of the Leaders group exhibited robust decision-making. By comparison, just 29% of the Aspirers, 8% of the Fast Followers, and 2% of the Laggards qualified as robust decision makers.\nSome of the characteristics that indicted better decision making included:\n\nThe ability to flip the typical 80\/20 ratio of hours spent on data preparation versus data analysis, with significantly more time spent on analysis\nThe ability to evaluate the quality and relevance of data in the problem definition phase\nThe ability to eliminate human biases by practicing data-driven decision making\nThe ability to base actions on solid data rather than defaulting to experience or gut feelings\n\nCommon sense, again, would hold that the organizations making better decisions have better business outcomes. It turns out this assumption was also validated by IDC\u2019s research.\nOverall, three-quarters of the organizations surveyed by IDC said that investments in data management and analytics could boost operational efficiencies, revenues, and profits. Not surprisingly, organizations with most-robust decision-making capabilities gained the best business outcomes of this type.\nIDC created a four-level ranking system in which they examined how each organization\u2019s decision-making capabilities equated to its business outcomes. The robust decision makers accounted for 38% of those organizations able to achieve the most business value. The group of respondents with the weakest decision-making capabilities represented just 15% of the those able to garner high business values.\nSo it turns out \u2013 at least when it comes to managing and exploiting digital data \u2013 that actual business results mirror what common sense tells us. Investing in data and analytics pipelines can pay significant dividends in the real business world.\nClick here to learn how Qlik can help your organization make better decisions and achieve a variety of business benefits by upping your data-to-insights game.\n*Source: IDC InfoBrief, Sponsored by Qlik, Data as the New Water: The Importance of Investing in Data and Analytics Pipelines, Doc. #US46445920, June 2020.