Last updated: February 3rd, 2021
The more things change, the more they stay the same, or “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” wrote Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in 1849. As wediscovered in the results of our just-released “Data and analytics trends and directions 2021″ study, the saying holds true today in some respects.
In Q4 2020, we asked 150 data and analytics leaders 20 questions about data and analytics in their organizations. You can download the complete researchreport here, but I’d like to focus on a few of the many interesting findings from the research, including things that stay the same.
For example, when we think about change, it’s hard not to jump straight to the global pandemic, which has unquestionably reshaped the lives of your customers and employees. It’s why almost half (48 percent) of respondents said they foresee an impact from COVID-19 on work-from-anywhere programs.
But for other key organizational priorities, our data shows that little will change in 2021 due to the pandemic. Only 19 percent said data priorities around digital transformation will shift this year, and even fewer (14 percent) say the pandemic will alter priorities around the cloud.
We also found that obtaining a “single version of the truth” in company data remains elusive for 41 percent of respondents. Multiple versions of the truth have been around for as long as humans have kept records, and for our respondents, it’s the leading barrier to successful data deployments. The exponential growth of data and the number of places where it lives across an organization continues to make it difficult for organizations to achieve consistency.
One more proof point for M. Karr’s prescient saying: Recent high-profile security breaches tell us that while types of hacks may change, security risks are here to stay. Seventy-two percent of respondents said that data security keeps leadership awake at night. While our customers want to make data available within the organization, they also have concerns about it falling into the wrong hands. It’s why we engineer our products with strong access and permissions control.
How are you using data and analytics to support your business?
One trend that we see many of our customers taking is using exciting, beautiful visualizations like this Arc diagram to engage their users. This visualization, and many more, are available within the WebFOCUS Designer to help you visualize and understand your data.
One area where we encourage change is developing a data culture and democratizing data from the top down, which includes helping leadership and business users acquire data skills. Our findings tell us that change is happening, albeit not fast enough. Only 53 percent say that their organizations are committed to giving business users access to data to support their jobs, and just 28 percent are committed to infusing data literacy across the business.
At the same time, less than half (47 percent) make training broadly available. We believe that one way to make this change happen faster, and our products can help with this, is to give people intuitive tools so they don’t need special skills to discover and explore data. Another way is embedding analytics in applications so the right data is at hand at the right time.
One area where we encourage change is developing a data culture and democratizing data from the top down, which includes helping leadership and business users acquire data skills.”
I said earlier that organizations plan to continue with their cloud initiatives. Where our research sees big change coming is shifting data and analytics from on-premises to either hybrid (on cloud and on-premises) or pure cloud. Half of the respondents (50 percent) say data is stored on-premises today, but only 10 percent anticipate pure on-premises storage three years out. In that time frame, hybrid will grow from 42 percent to 56 percent, and pure cloud from 5 percent to 27 percent.
Our colleagues at Ventana Research have similar findings. They say, “Our research shows organizations are moving data and analytics to the cloud. Almost half (47 percent) of organizations are doing some analytics in the cloud today and nearly all (99 percent) of organizations expect to do analytics in the cloud in the future. The most common reason organizations cited for not adopting cloud technology is a concern over security.”
Selecting the right cloud provider is a critical success factor, and there are options other than spinning up and configuring the infrastructure for cloud storage and analytics on your own. ibi Cloud, the winner of the 2020 Stratus Award for top cloud integrator, was recognized for its user-friendliness, speed, and broad support for integrating data ecosystems wherever they live.