SAP poll reveals parlous state of business information visibility

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Only 14% of business leaders in the UK believe they have access to real time, accurate data – despite half believing that clarity of information will be instrumental in helping them to survive the downturn and prepare for the upturn.

That's the slightly shocking finding of an opinion poll carried out by SAP among 200 professionals. Of those who believed access to accurate data is not vital, 27% stated that is because they are so far from achieving clarity of information that it will never help them, while 9% said they have too much data to ever achieve clarity. Tim Noble, managing director at SAP UK & Ireland, says the poll also reveals a general lack of understanding around gaining access to business data. "A lack of clarity limits their ability to understand business conditions, predict risks and make informed decisions – all of which are more important than ever during this period of economic difficulty," comments Noble.. "However, by adopting tools such as SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, which provides immediate insight to a vast amount of data, business users across organisations will be better informed and be better equipped to make sound, timely decisions," he adds, somewhat unsurprisingly. Incidentally, SAP's poll also found that three quarters of respondents agree with the idea that customer centricity will enable organisations not only to survive but to thrive through the downturn. However, of those who believe they have become more customer centric only 28% have developed what could realistically be called a holistic view of the customer to help them achieve their goals. It also appears that the downturn has changed the way many do business, with 40% of companies stating that they have seen significant change to their business models since the downturn began. However, pessimism about the length of the downturn remains, with 39% of employees at the companies surveyed believing that it will last at least another 12 months, while just 4% think it is already over.