IDG Survey Identifies Information Capital Gap Across the Globe

Information Builders Research Reveals Failure to Maximize Critical Information Assets

New York, NY, August 01, 2013

The percentage of respondents indicating that it is “very important” or “critical” for various stakeholders to access and analyze actionable information to support needs and business goals.

Information Builders, a leader in business intelligence (BI) and analytics, information integrity, and integration solutions, today shared further details around its global information capital survey, which revealed key insights into how organizations in different countries and cultures leverage information assets.

Across regions, results showed that while organizations recognize the benefits of pushing information more broadly to stakeholders, they are failing to effectively do it. Information sharing is largely restricted to executive management, mid-level management, and knowledge workers, while little consideration is given to the needs of operational employees, the non-IT workers who rely on company and customer information to work effectively. Customer, partner, and supplier information needs are also widely neglected. Additionally, IT managers across the globe are currently not putting enough focus on innovation, new revenue generation, or increasing customer retention, three areas that hold huge business potential and could be improved with a more encompassing information-sharing strategy. 

The survey also revealed some interesting differences in how countries approach information delivery, where current focus lies, and where improvement and investment are needed to maximize the return on information capital. While organizations in each country have different strengths and weaknesses, none are using information capital to its maximum potential. Below are the key findings from each of the countries surveyed. 


  • French organizations focus on top-tier stakeholders, inhibiting more widespread information sharing outside of knowledge workers and management employees
  • Sharing information with customers is deemed more important than sharing it with operational employees, who are not perceived as key decision-makers; 43 percent of respondents indicate customers as an information delivery priority, versus 34 percent who indicate operational employees
  • A tools-centric approach is expected moving forward, meaning that more employees will be armed with advanced tools that require specific learning and expertise
  • Big data will be a key area of investment in the coming months


  • German respondents recognize the impact of information sharing on employee culture and productivity improvement; 68 percent of respondents noted improved productivity as a key result, which exceeds all other countries surveyed
  • To build on these proven productivity gains, Germans will continue to drive more pervasive BI in the coming months, with data visualization recognized as a key area of investment
  • German companies recognize internal employees as decision-makers and drive more pervasive BI for this group, but they fail to recognize external stakeholders as equally important and do not consider their needs for enterprise data, thus limiting the effectiveness of their information assets

The Netherlands

  • Of all the groups surveyed, Dutch organizations lead the way in terms of soliciting employee input and connecting with external partners, with 68 percent of respondents doing both regularly
  • Data mining and self-service BI were indicated as the most frequently used solutions today, with future BI investments expected to align with the needs of all stakeholders


  • Seventy-two percent of Spanish respondents indicated employee productivity and performance as the key motivator for improved information sharing, yet less than half of respondents indicated that providing operational employees with information was necessary
  • Nearly half of all respondents believed that internal politics or organizational culture currently inhibit widespread information delivery, and 32 percent said sharing information beyond management levels was not supported or encouraged
  • Spanish organizations currently fail to consider the needs of all stakeholder groups in their information access strategies


  • Organizations in the UK recognize the benefits of sharing information beyond the top tier of employees with 68 percent, agreeing that it is important to arm operational employees with data; UK organizations lead the way in extending data to customers and external partners
  • Two-thirds of UK respondents regularly connect with customers to solicit feedback; operational employees and external partners are also tapped in this capacity
  • UK companies are successful in taking a 360-degree approach to information capital, allowing them to effectively consider the needs of all stakeholders
  • The next step for UK companies is to focus on information delivery and BI tools to improve widespread utilization


  • American IT managers are more likely to use information for innovation, revenue generation, and customer loyalty activities than their European counterparts
  • There is a 39 percentage point gap between the stated importance of providing mid-level management with data access and the reality of data delivery; despite recognizing its importance, U.S. companies fail to effectively share information with even the top tier of employees
  • Of all countries surveyed, U.S. respondents are least likely to support the idea that all employees should have access to information to be more effective
  • U.S. organizations must address current information management strategies if they hope to maximize returns on their information capital

“Information capital is a critical asset for companies across industries, yet failing to disseminate that information to key stakeholders effectively negates its value and reduces related business opportunities,” said Gerald Cohen, president and CEO of Information Builders. “Our findings in this global survey indicate a huge gap between understanding the value of information capital and taking action to use those assets to their full potential. There exists here an enormous business opportunity for companies who are willing to rethink their information management strategy and work to improve sharing and access for a broader group of employees, customers, and partners.”

Visit our website for more details on the IDG Survey.

About IDG Research Services

IDG Research Services specializes in marketing and media-related research for technology marketers. As a division of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading technology media, research, and event company, IDG Research Services brings the resources and experience of a large, global company to its clients in the form of an agile, customer-focused business. For more information please visit

About Information Builders

Information Builders helps organizations transform data into business value. Our software solutions for business intelligence and analytics, integration, and data integrity empower people to make smarter decisions, strengthen customer relationships, and drive growth. Our dedication to customer success is unmatched in the industry. That’s why tens of thousands of leading organizations rely on Information Builders to be their trusted partner. Founded in 1975, Information Builders is headquartered in New York, NY, with offices around the world, and remains one of the largest independent, privately held companies in the industry. Visit us at, follow us on Twitter at @infobldrs, like us on Facebook, and visit our LinkedIn page.