Stimulus Australasia

Dealing with Data Issues in the Workplace

How to deal with data issues in the workplace?

Data helps us make better decisions and streamline business processes. However, handling data can cause your employee's various concerns and grievances. Dealing with data issues in the workplace involves establishing a participatory culture and taking a proactive approach to communication-related to technological topics.



When technology causes frustrations at work

Technology has revolutionised how we work and what we can achieve, yet for many, it is a constant source of worry, fear, or frustration. Technology promises great things, but the perennial question is whether it can deliver on its promises.


Ongoing technological changes are supposed to make things easier and more efficient and help humans be more productive. Yet the evidence that technology is wreaking havoc in our workplaces is mounting.


A 2021 study cited in Work Here Now by Melissa Swift found that more than 70% of employees described communication technologies as "making their work more complex." These employees dealt with 10-20 different systems and applications daily.


Almost 20% of employees interviewed also mentioned they had considered quitting because of difficulties and frustrations with technology. That's one in five people who would leave their jobs just because they are annoyed, bothered and fed up with the technology they work with.


The Forrester "Your Data Culture is in Crisis" report also found that:

  • almost half of the (46%) of respondents stated they either didn't have or were unsure if they had a data literacy lead
  • the same amount, 46%, admitted they did not know where to find the information they needed at work
  • a slightly smaller amount (44%) said they didn't know to whom they should address their questions at work
  • around 40% admitted they didn't trust the data they were given to use at work


A 2022 study found that nine out of ten employees are frustrated by workplace technology and nearly half said that inadequate technology caused them to feel stressed.


How to involve people in technological change processes

If you are about to embark on a technological change project, it pays to think about the people involved as carefully and deliberately as you do the tools.


You must also be clear about why you are seeking to implement new technologies. Start by stating a clearly defined problem you need to solve, and ensure you are clear about how the solution will impact all other areas of your operations. So often, a single solution is implemented to respond to a small part of a bigger problem without considering the business-wide context.


Making people-centred data decisions

Many implementations fail because the broader implications of a solution have yet to be considered. Changing how you carry out a simple activity can ripple effect on the organisation. Not only do you need to understand what a solution will do, you need to consider what changes will occur to how people work.


The best way to do this is to consider the end user at the start of the solution chain. These systems and tech promise great things, but we need to forge ways ahead that make the tech work for us rather than the other way around.


Helping people adapt to AI and automation

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again," wrote Thomas Paine in the appendix to Common Sense,his 1775 publication advocating for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. This quote could also apply to our workplace situations today.


As technology continues to evolve rapidly, we have the opportunity to reconsider its role in our workplaces and businesses. The idea of AI and automation is striking genuine fear into the hearts of many people around Australia. People worry that their jobs, and in some cases their professions, will be made entirely redundant due to technology.


Yet, despite the fact that automation can reduce work and AI can control processes and improvements, our employees are working more than ever. People are working more hours and in more jobs than they did fifty or even twenty years ago. The transformation of automation doesn't mean machines are taking away our jobs; it does allow us to be strategic about how and when we work.


Generative AI has the potential to fundamentally change the way organisations operate, interact with employees and customers, and drive business growth. Teams leveraging generative AI can improve communication quality, speed, and accuracy.


AI is already at work in our workplaces

Even if you don't think you are the type of business that could benefit from AI, the truth is that it might already be at work in your organisation. One study also found that many employees use AI but don't admit it to their bosses. The new frontier is here, and yet many of our organisations still need to prepare for how they will tackle the changes.


A McKinsey study has also found that existing workforce capabilities in using AI are likely to be higher than we think. The pool of talent that can already use or would benefit from extended use of AI is broader than just those people who deal with data. Opportunities for the use of AI are presenting across all sections of an organisation- from finance, accounting, leadership and human resources. There isn’t an area of our workplaces that won’t be touched or changed by the use of AI.


The importance of effective communication

Technology must be discussed clearly and explained effectively, and people must be informed when tech projects hit a bump or miss a milestone. Poor technology communication is costly, estimated by Grammarly to be $12,506 per employee per year.


What we need is genuine, open, and frank conversations and a clear communication approach. Implementing technology is tiring and challenging, causing frustration and angst. Communication challenges in the workplace can often be related to technology and systems, and poor communication can clearly be linked to employee disengagement. Effective data leadership is critical.


In recent times, knowledge workers have reported a 7% increase in stress at work due to poor communication. So, it's not only the change in tools and technology that can cause overload. This study makes clear the importance of how we communicate about technology and data, beyond just the implementation of the systems themselves.


While technological skills may be highly valued, potential employees must also be able to communicate effectively, show social and emotional competencies, and demonstrate their ability to cooperate, share, teach others, and listen to others.


The impact of organisational culture

Furthermore, using technology in the workplace isn't a deciding factor for employees who are considering a move. Workers who self-identify as heavy users of AI don't take these jobs because they love using the tech or for the pay that goes with their roles. Factors such as flexibility, meaningful work, caring leaders, and health and well-being were rated as more important than remuneration for many skilled and technical AI-related roles.


Organisations operate on a series of values. When workplaces become too focused on data and technology, they run the risk of forgetting those values that drive them.


Organisations that can implement change well, be responsive, compassionate and supportive to their employees and create a culture of learning and continuous improvement will thrive. Despite the difficulties that data management can cause, many workers are proving to be adaptive and willing to learn and grow as part of digital transformation projects.


Making people-centred data decisions

Investing in education and support will improve your workforce's knowledge and overall capabilities. People using evolving technologies often contribute to their efficient use over time. Improvements and solutions can be identified, championed and delivered upon.


A high-quality data literacy training program and a clear and shared data governance framework will underpin innovation. It is also useful to help individuals recognise that they are both data consumers (and customers) and data creators. Understanding this dual role helps people better understand that they have a part to play in data management. Take the time to explain to people what having dual roles means in their everyday work and decisions.


Democratic use of technology

It is unpleasant for employees to feel trapped in a corner when making decisions about solutions and tools. Many software companies may use scare tactics to instil fear, uncertainty, and doubt in businesses to convince them of what they need. Customers with a lack of digital literacy are frightened into purchasing a particular solution because of fear of change or perceived safety.


Companies establish a dependence in their customers, that makes changing or trying something new seems too risky or dangerous. These companies seek to ensure a reliance on their closed solutions, which require expensive customisation and the withholding of funds to fix issues as they arise.


In other cases, employees have taken a stand on how data is consumed and how technology is used in the workplace. Increasingly, employees' values are being considered in their decisions about the information they access and handle. Employees should be empowered and supported to hold data to the best of their abilities.


Open source solutions for forward-thinking organisations

Open source solutions see to overcome this digital monopoly through the continued reimaging, improvement and innovation that a democratic, collaborative effort brings.


Open-source developers work collectively to improve their tools, often as a labour of love and with a deep commitment to improving things for everyone. Many significant innovations in recent years, including cloud computing, big data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), have resulted from open-source development.


Pimcore is an open-source and enterprise subscription marketing, asset management, and customer experience platform. It is used to create captivating websites and manage extensive product data, records, files, and catalogues. More than 100,000 companies use Pimcore worldwide. Contact us to learn more.


Pimcore for data handling

At Stimulus, we make use of the powerful and flexible enterprise solution Pimcore, a tool that is suitable
for businesses of all sizes. Pimcore has effective data-handling capabilities. Pimcore's Master Data Management component enables you to manage, organise, clarify, and aggregate diverse product records and files. Pimcore delivers easy-to-use:

  • Data editing – users can duplicate, create or import data records from an ERP or other location
  • Batch editing – users can access tabular records and easily and quickly carry out bulk edits, searches and exports
  • Data validation – users can ensure data validity through specific and predefined rules and values
  • Publishing and versioning – users can feel confident they are accessing the most accurate and up-to-date information when they use published data or access version histories


Pimcore is an open-source digital platform that offers a centralised solution for:

  • Product Information Management (PIM)
  • Master Data Management (MDM)
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM)
  • Digital experience and Content Management (DXP and CMS)



Related Questions

Why do customers care about data?

Customers have high expectations of how companies handle their data; when a company's tech crashes, it can be an utter disaster. Take the Optus outage of late 2023. It was a PR nightmare, which also resulted in more than 900 complaints being lodged with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.


Customers also know their rights when it comes to accessing records and information stored in corporate systems. Government and health organisations can be required to produce customer records in certain situations. These organisations must also have a process for updating records that are outdated, need to be updated, corrected, or misleading.


It's common for retail customers to ask for transactional records and information held on file. As businesses create more and more apps and website portals where customers log in or subscribe, an increasing amount of data is coming into their systems.


What is the best technology for enterprise organisations?

If you are dealing with data issues in your workplace, there are different systems and tools out there to help. The best technological solution for an enterprise organisation will depend on the following:


  • Type of business and structure of the organisation
  • Industry
  • Current size and intent to scale
  • Amount of legacy data


Some of the types of technology to consider include:

  • Enterprise resource planning tools (ERP)
  • Integration tools
  • Product information management tools (PIM)
  • Digital asset management tools (DAM)

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