Organizations are “scrambling to keep up with evolving business needs” for data while trying to maintain quality and security, according to a new study from Forrester Research.

The report, commissioned by data integration and business analytics provider Pentaho, shows that those organizations that lack a strategic approach to data quality fail to keep pace with business needs.

For the research, Forrester in June 2015 conducted an online survey of 164 business and IT leaders in the U.S. and U.K. with decision-making authority or influence over data governance at their organization.

The firm compared “Pacers,” defined as respondents who indicated their organizations were effective and very effective at keeping pace with business data needs (59%), with the remainder of respondents, categorized as “Chasers” (41%). The study found that relative to Pacers, Chasers struggle to find and deliver data in a timely manner and face gaps in data completeness.

The findings from the study “underscore the importance of data governance, interoperability and flexibility,” Quentin Gallivan, CEO at Pentaho, said in a statement. “While we’ve made significant strides as an industry with big data, we know data and tools must evolve.”

According to the study, data environments are growing “exponentially” as businesses evolve in an increasingly digital world. Structured and unstructured data accumulate from transactional, operational, content-centric systems and connected devices, the report says. “Against this backdrop, businesses seek new and innovative ways to harness big data for decision-making, risk management, and business growth,” the report says.

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