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Study Reveals Most Federal Agencies Are Still Relying on Manual Processes to Consolidate Data

Study finds 70 percent of agencies struggle with manually inputting and analyzing data

October 08, 2015

Increased data volumes and numerous data sources are changing the dynamic of how federal agencies are able to process, analyze and make critical decisions, according to a new study conducted by Market Connections on behalf of Qlik® (NASDAQ: QLIK), a leader in visual analytics. According to the study, 97 percent of agencies reported they must compile data from more than one data source; 65 percent of agencies report not having a data analytics solution in place to consolidate data from multiple sources into one interface.

The study, which surveyed 200 respondents - 34 percent Defense and 66 percent Civilian - confirms that quick, easy to digest data is vital to improved decision-making. According to the results, 68 percent of respondents believe one of the greatest benefits of data analytics is the ability to make better, quicker fact-based decisions.

"Centralizing data for public agencies raises concerns about security and data governance," said Lisa Dezzutti, President and CEO of Market Connections. "Having the ability to quickly access, analyze and disseminate information gives agencies the ability to make better decisions that will improve overall efficiency and service."

Additional key findings include:

  • More data sources leads to more manual staff hours. 71 percent of agencies believe compiling data manually and inputting the information into outdated spreadsheets is the greatest barrier to integrating more day-to-day decision-making. In fact, 59 percent of respondents said that they spend over 25 staff hours inputting data, while 20 percent cite more than 100 hours per month devoted to data collection.
  • Governance is the key to meaningful insights. With security at the forefront of concern among respondents (49 percent), owning the collection and dissemination of data is high priority. For example, trying to use and update an excel spreadsheet is nearly impossible, with formulas consistently being broken or individuals citing information from outdated versions. Agencies need to ensure data is collected and held in a secure, governed environment, and decisions are made based on the same set of data collected.
  • The need for self-service access and visualization of data. Traditional business intelligence systems restrict the agility required to make decisions quickly. Thirty-four percent of respondents said their current analytics tools do not allow them to manipulate data, while 32 percent said that the data is outdated by the time it is delivered. Another 28 percent of decision-makers rely on IT to create reports.

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About the Study

Qlik commissioned Market Connections to determine how agencies are managing big data and the extent to which they believe data analytics tools can benefit their agency. The blind online survey of 200 respondents included 34 percent from Defense agencies and 66 percent from Civilian agencies. All had some involvement in the organization's use of data and data analytics, with 47 percent evaluating or recommending data analytic tools and solutions; 41 percent managing or implementing data analytic tools and 67 percent the end user of data analytics. Twenty percent make the final decision regarding providers offering data analytic tools. Respondent areas of responsibility included agency leadership/executive/command (21 percent), project/program management (20 percent) and operations an administration (14 percent).

About Market Connections

Market Connections delivers actionable intelligence and insights that enable improved business performance and positioning for leading businesses, trade associations and the public sector. The custom market research firm is a sought-after authority on preferences, perceptions and trends among the public sector and the contractors who serve them, offering deep domain expertise in information technology telecommunications, health care and education. For more information visit

About Qlik

Qlik (NASDAQ: QLIK) is a leader in visual analytics. Its portfolio of products meets customers' growing needs from reporting and self-service visual analysis to guided, embedded and custom analytics. Approximately 36,000 customers rely on Qlik solutions to gain meaning out of information from varied sources, exploring the hidden relationships within data that lead to insights that ignite good ideas. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Qlik has offices around the world with more than 1700 partners covering more than 100 countries.

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