Survey: Everybody Uses Data Better Than Their Competitors?

December 2, 2011



Here’s a chart from a recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit called “Big data: Harnessing a game-changing asset”, showing that only 9% of respondents believe that they use data worse than their competitors.

Economist Intelligence Unit data compared to competitors

Let’s face it, they’re probably in denial. It’s often called “Illusory Superiority” or the “Lake Wobegon Effect” (a radio show where “all the children are above average”), and it’s a real force in the analytics market.

Because better data is often considered a “nice to have”, or “important but not urgent”, companies often only invest in better business intelligence when confronted with evidence that their competitors have the edge (this applies to BI vendors, too: long-clamored-for features mysteriously get prioritized the instant another vendor provides it).

This chart shows that companies are probably underestimating their competitors ability to use data – and therefore that they should probably be investing more in business intelligence…