UK businesses aren’t making the most of their data, Data Centre EXPO finds

A new survey commissioned by Data Centre EXPO – a new event offering an overview of the data centre market, which is happening under the same roof as the IP EXPO show that kicks off on Wednesday – has found that the majority of UK firms fail to capitalise on their data.

Redshift Research carried out the survey of 300 IT directors in the UK, and found that even though 71 per cent said they had a dedicated Chief Data Officer (or similar exec role) at their company, 79 per cent still felt they could make more use of data analytics. As for the reason why they believed their company fell short in terms of data usage, 23 per cent said that their business had no data strategy whatsoever.

Of the majority who did have a data strategy, over a third (36 per cent) said they didn't have the resources or tech to actually implement that strategy, making it rather worthless.

So how many IT directors actually believed they had both the strategy and the means to implement it fully to maximise revenue return? Only one in eight (12 per cent).

Related: IP EXPO research reveals IT departments suffering from inadequate technology infrastructure

As for the benefits of better data usage practices, respondents felt that aside from potential financial gain – 38 per cent believed it could increase revenue – 45 per cent said it would mean better security, and 45 per cent also stated that it would provide better insights into customer behaviour. One in six also felt it could help businesses to retain employees.

As a final note, the research also questioned the IT pros on what moves they were making to utilise data that the Internet of Things is set to bring pouring forth in the future, with 41 per cent saying they were formulating plans and strategies in this regard. 25 per cent acknowledged the need to do this, but hadn't got round to starting brainstorming yet.

Perhaps the most concerning fact here, though, was that 16 per cent of these IT execs didn't know what the Internet of Things was. That's almost one in six of them – scary.

Daniel Hinton, Sales Manager, ATEN UK, commented on the research, noting: "Businesses have historically looked to productivity and customer data to improve profitability – but there's much more up for grabs. There's cost saving data that data centre and server room managers have only just recently started to capture. If this data is monitored in real-time and certain responses are automated, energy efficiencies become available for immediate gain."

Related: World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee to kick off IP EXPO Europe 2014 in London

The IP EXPO Europe 2014 show (and the Data Centre EXPO within it) takes place this week on Wednesday and Thursday, 8-9 October, at London's ExCeL centre (the registration page is here). Be there, or be considerably less well informed about best data practices, and much else...