CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nearly nine in ten (86%) chief executives at financial services companies are unsure whether their data can be used for decision-making, according to research commissioned by Intersystems. The study of more than 550 business leaders in 12 countries around the world found that the problem can stem from disconnected systems and data sources, with almost all (98%) of respondents saying there are data and application silos within their organization.

The survey, conducted on behalf of the creative data technology company providing next-generation solutions for digital business transformations, found that overcoming these data challenges is a top priority for financial services firms over the past of the coming year. More than half (51%) cite access to real-time data across the enterprise to improve decision-making as their top technology priority, while 44% say it is to develop new apps.

Improving access to data is vital. In fact, more than a third (37%) of business leaders surveyed said their biggest data challenge was the time it takes to access data and that the data was outdated by the time they got it. Sixty-three percent of global business leaders say the data they use is more than 24 hours old, a quarter (25%) say it is one to three days old, while 17% they date from 4 days to a week.

Inaccessibility of data from all necessary sources (33%) or in the required format (32%) is also a major issue, along with visibility, with 31% saying it is difficult to get a view of the risk at the enterprise level. The main impact of these challenges is the difficulty in getting a 360 degree picture of customers to provide personalized services (36%). This can affect a company’s ability to retain existing customers, attract new ones, and create competitive advantage.

Additionally, thirty-five percent of business leaders say these challenges make it difficult to use data for decision-making. Similarly, more than a third (34%) revealed that they were unable to base their decisions on real-time information and therefore often had to rely on assumptions that are not always correct.

Ann Kuelzow, Global Head of Financial Services at InterSystems, said, “The financial services industry handles and processes massive amounts of data every day. It’s the lifeblood of organizations and it’s key to everything from Business 360 and Customer 360 compliance, enabling them to deliver the products and experiences their customers need. Therefore, it is essential that they find ways to overcome the challenges they face in accessing, harmonizing and analyzing data so that they can use it more effectively to move their organizations forward. This is where data fabrics, a new architectural approach, will come into their own.

More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents said they would consider implementing a data structure to simplify access to distributed data. Data structures enable enterprises to bridge data silos and accelerate and simplify access to data assets to provide a consistent, accurate, and real-time view of internal and external data.

This real-time access to data enables financial services institutions to pursue key initiatives, with 35% of respondents saying they need timely distributed data access to improve operational efficiency, while 31% need it to make strategic decisions (31%) . More than a quarter (26%) of business leaders believe that access to real-time data would help improve business risk and liquidity management.

About InterSystems

Founded in 1978, InterSystems provides innovative data solutions for organizations with critical information needs in the healthcare, finance and logistics industries and beyond. Our cloud-first data platforms solve interoperability, speed, and scalability challenges for organizations around the world. InterSystems also develops and supports data management in hospitals through the world’s most proven electronic medical record, as well as unified care records for health systems and governments through a powerful suite of integration solutions health data. The company is committed to excellence through its award-winning 24/7 support for customers and partners in more than 80 countries. Privately held and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, InterSystems has 25 offices worldwide. For more information, please visit