Crisis of Confidence in Spend Data Continues, Survey Shows

Nearly a third of procurement practitioners in recent survey have a low level of confidence in their spend data, according to Rosslyn Analytics

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London — May 7, 2010 — Nearly a third of procurement professionals in a recent survey have a low level of confidence in their spend data, while slightly fewer procurement practitioners expressed a high degree of confidence, according to a report from spend analysis solution provider Rosslyn Analytics.

According to a survey conducted by Rosslyn Analytics of 150 procurement professionals, 31 percent of respondents have a low level of confidence that their company's spend data are complete and accurate for decision-making purposes.

Only 28 percent of procurement professionals believe their spend data are "complete and accurate," with 31 percent and 40 percent of respondents, respectively, having a low and medium level of confidence, Rosslyn Analytics reported.

"With recent advances in technology including automated data extraction, categorization and enrichment services, it shocks me that procurement continue to have inadequate spend data," said Charles Clark, CEO of Rosslyn Analytics. "It is time for organizations to evaluate no-risk alternatives to legacy, on-premise spend analysis solutions. The sooner procurement professionals resolve data quality concerns, the sooner they will be able to focus on the serious business of sustainable cost savings."

Additional key findings from the survey were that 40 percent of respondents do not enrich their company's spend data with additional third-party information. Of the 60 percent of procurement professionals that do enrich their data, 56 percent, 31 percent and 13 percent do so, respectively, on a quarterly, monthly and weekly basis.

Of the 60 percent of respondents that enrich their spend data, 75 percent do so in-house. Of the 75 percent, 47 percent enrich manually while 28 percent use an automated process. Twenty-five percent of companies outsource data enrichment to a third-party provider.

When asked what sources of enrichment are most important, the three most cited were (in order ranking); 1) parent-child linkage; 2) supplier diversity; and, 3) supplier performance and risk.

Clark added, "Enterprises that continue to struggle to obtain spend visibility are relying on technology that, having been developed in the 1990s, is past its sell-date."

He went on to suggest that Web platforms such as his company's Rapidintel are not only "future-proof" to meet tomorrow's needs but can give procurement professionals today complete and accurate visibility into all operational spend in just 20 days without the need to install software or hardware or employ consultants."