Productivity pains: Workers burdened with boring tasks

SnapLogic research finds disconnected data hurting business productivity thanks to data gaps, slow integration, and repetitive manual tasks.

SnapLogic announces the results of its latest study into disconnected data, which uncovers that 90 per cent of employees are being burdened with boring and repetitive tasks which could be easily automated.

In fact, these tasks – which include searching for data, data entry, data processing and analysis, and combining data from multiple sources – are costing businesses 19 working days per year per employee, on average. This is putting a big dent in the productivity of the business, as a shocking nine in ten business users are spending time on these boring automatable tasks rather than value-added activities.

This productivity hit is frustrating workers. A quarter (25 per cent) believe that disconnected data is causing the development of new products or services to lag, leaving them trailing behind competitors. More than six in ten (61 per cent) are finding projects being constantly delayed by slow data integration efforts.

With 44 per cent of respondents stating that there is a lack of collaboration between departments, and 57 per cent admit that their organisation struggles with data silos, it is likely that employees from different parts of the business could be working with similar data but in different systems – leaving the data itself open to interpretation by the individuals dealing with it or in some cases even missing altogether.

In fact, the study, conducted by independent research firm Vanson Bourne, finds nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of respondents in companies with over 500 employees agreed that data gaps in their organisation are negatively affecting their productivity.

Gaurav Dhillon, founder and CEO of SnapLogic says, ‘Digital transformation projects are designed to increase the speed and agility of businesses and create happier, more productive workforces. But we continue to see the problem of siloed data causing workers to spend far too much time on rote, repetitive tasks, which is crippling organisational productivity. This is particularly problematic in larger companies like those included in this research, where there are likely more systems, more departments and bigger projects than in smaller enterprises.’

With virtually all respondents (98 per cent) stating that their organisation deploys projects that require company data to be accessed from multiple systems, the burden on productivity caused by data gaps is significant. The research reveals that individuals in large organisations use, on average, seven different business applications and systems regularly, with those in IT using more than business users (eight compared to five). Financial services companies are the most heavily-laden with different systems, using nine apps, on average.

Related: Five ways to create a productive workplace culture

However, respondents are mindful of the issues and the need to solve them. The overwhelming majority (91 per cent) of those using multiple apps or systems see connecting data, applications and systems as a beneficial thing for their organisation to do, with 37 per cent deeming it an essential action. In fact, on average, respondents speculated that they could see a 28 per cent boost in efficiency through a greater focus on automation of data processes.

Dhillon concludes, ‘As the productivity costs of disconnected data become more apparent to businesses, we’re beginning to see a shift in attitudes towards the need for smarter, faster integration of data. Having highly-skilled employees spending large chunks of time on boring automatable tasks, rather than on value-add activities is not only a waste of time and money but has a negative impact on morale, as employees become bored and frustrated with repetition of efforts. With modern organisations now relying on multiple applications to drive the business forward, it’s more important than ever that disconnected data be resigned to the past.’

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