Managers waste as long as two hours every day looking for information that often turns out to be useless, according to a report from consulting firm Accenture.
A survey of 1,000 middle managers at large companies in the UK and US has revealed more than half of the data they find has no value to them, while IT workers are the least likely to say the information they find is valuable. IT also spends the most time trying to find information, dedicating nearly 30% of their time to search.
Information is often more difficult to find because it's scattered, respondents said. Over half (57%) said that having to go to numerous sources to collect information makes managing data difficult and, on average, the managers said they go to three different sources to find certain types of information.
In addition, rivalries among different divisions within a company exacerbate the problem. Some 40% of respondents said that other parts of their companies aren't willing to share information.
Managers often face additional challenges because they don't save important data in a collaborative place. The majority of the managers surveyed said they store their most valuable information on their computers or individual email accounts, where others can't access it, Accenture said. Only 16% of managers said they store valuable data in a collaborative workplace, like an intranet portal.
Just less than half (42%) said that they accidentally use the wrong information at least once a week. And, of all the managers surveyed,
Until companies streamline the way that workers store data, information will continue to be a burden to knowledge workers, Accenture said.