Managers Say the Majority of Information Obtained for Their Work Is Useless: Accenture Survey

Middle managers spend up to 2 hours a day searching for information to do their jobs, and more than 50% of the information they obtain has no value to them, according to results of a recent Accenture survey. 

Only half of all managers believe their companies do a good job in governing information distribution or have established adequate processes to determine what data each part of an organization needs.

Key findings of the Survey: 

  • 59% said that as a consequence of poor information distribution, they miss information that might be valuable to their jobs almost every day because it exists somewhere else in the company and they just can’t find it. 

  • 42% of respondents said they accidentally use the wrong information at least once a week, 

  • 53% said that less than half of the information they receive is valuable.

  • 45% of respondents said gathering information about what other parts of their company are doing is a big challenge, whereas only 31% said that competitor information is hard to get.

  • 57% of respondents said that having to go to numerous sources to compile information is a difficult aspect of managing information for their jobs.  In order to get information about competitors, customers, project responsibility or another department, respondents said they have to go to three different information sources, on average. 
  • 40% of respondents said that other parts of the company are not willing to share information
  • 36% said there is so much information available that it takes a long time to actually find the right piece of data.

Part of the difficulty lies in the way managers are gathering and storing information.  For example, the majority of managers in the survey said they store their most valuable information on their computer or individual e-mail accounts, with only 16% using a collaborative workplace such as a company’s intranet portal.

The proliferation of different information sources within organizations was revealed by the survey as the most important reason why managing information is proving difficult. 

“The findings show that companies are failing to get the right information to their employees,” said Royce Bell, CEO of Accenture Information Management Services (AIMS).  “People and organizations cannot keep up with the volume of information produced by technological innovation.  Managers in particular are having great difficulty navigating a rapidly expanding sea of information, and the situation is only getting worse.”

Survey Methodology: The Web-based survey of 1,009 managers in companies in the United States and United Kingdom with reported annual revenues of more than US$500 million was fielded in June 2006. The purpose of the online survey was to uncover wide-ranging insights about the way managers gather, use and analyze information.

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