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Global Organizations Wasting Billions of Dollars on Data Preparation

New Data Prep Survey from Trifacta Reveals Serious Challenges in the Most Critical Step in Data Initiatives

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — May 17, 2018 — Clean data is a critical ingredient for robust and accurate analyses, yet many organizations are still relying on manual and inefficient processes to prepare and clean data, according to a new survey from Trifacta, the global leader in data preparation. These inefficiencies are draining resources and inhibiting organizations’ ability to glean insights that could be crucial to their business decisions.

Trifacta conducted a data preparation survey of nearly 300 data professionals to identify the challenges hindering organizations’ use of data and analytics. Key findings from the survey include:

Overreliance on IT resources for data preparation costs organizations billions.

  • Sixty percent of IT professionals spend half or more of their time at work on data quality assurance, cleanup or preparation. Based upon Glassdoor salary estimates and IDC’s estimation there are 18 million IT operations and management professionals globally, organizations are spending over $450 billion on data preparation.
  • Fifty-nine percent of respondents (IT professionals and data analysts combined) believe that the majority of the data analysts in their organization are dependent on IT resources to prepare or access data.
  • Eighty-two percent of analysts believe they would be able to drive increased value from their analysis projects with a decreased dependency on IT.

Unnecessary iteration between business users and IT exacerbates the cost of data preparation.

  • Analysts that depend on IT to prepare data often request modifications to their initial requirements, the survey found, likely due to unanticipated findings from the raw data contents. Seventy-five percent of analysts said they regularly go back to IT with new requirements. This includes 11 percent who said they always do this.
  • IT professionals corroborate this, with 40 percent of them spending at least half of the time preparing data just on revising or reworking data requirements.

Manual processes hinder collaboration and efficiency, but continue to dominate data preparation practices.

  • Excel continues to be the primary tool for data preparation: 37 percent of data analysts and 30 percent of IT professionals use it more than other tools to prepare data. Trifacta predicts that a reliance on manually driven data preparation tools like Excel will continue to delay data initiatives and deter new insights.

Both IT professionals and data analysts believe they could add more value to their organizations if they were spending less of their time focused on preparing data.

  • Analysts recognize that the time-consuming nature of data preparation is a detriment to their organizations: 59 percent believe that the overall time spent on data QA or data cleansing costs their organization money, more than it delivers value to the organization.
  • A majority (60 percent) of IT professionals consider themselves overqualified to be spending a large percentage of their time preparing data. Many of them go on to explain that their time would be better spent modelling, finding insights or designing programs.
  • Data analysts are also spending too much time preparing data: 92 percent would choose to focus on another analytic activity rather than data preparation, yet 65 percent are spending at least half their time preparing data for analytic use.

Critical data is at risk.

  • Even though data privacy concerns abound in today’s business landscape, 75 percent of data analysts confess that their individual computers are one of the top three places they store data, and 56 percent of IT professionals say the same thing.

“Data preparation is the biggest bottleneck in any analytic process, costing companies billions of dollars and slowing down time to insight,” said Adam Wilson, CEO of Trifacta. “Since the beginning, Trifacta has focused on automating this traditionally expensive and time-consuming process. Today, more than 10,000 companies across the globe have used Trifacta to modernize their approach to data preparation, to deliver self-service and to improve collaboration between business and IT.”

Solving Inefficiencies with Automation
Trifacta is a data preparation platform that empowers data analysts to explore, assess and refine data for analysis, and solve the big problems of their business. Trifacta enables data analysts to more easily and efficiently work with diverse and fragmented data and frees up IT professionals to focus on more strategic work.

About the Study
Trifacta conducted a global survey of 295 individuals who prepare data — 179 IT professionals who prepare data for a group of business users, and 116 data analysts who prepare and/or analyze data for themselves. The survey was conducted between April 4 and April 13, 2018, via SurveyMonkey. Please click here for an infographic which details some of the top findings of the survey.

Additional Resources

About Trifacta
Trifacta is the industry pioneer and established leader of the global market for data preparation technology. The company draws on decades of academic research to make the process of preparing data faster and more intuitive. More than 50,000 Data Wranglers in 10,000 companies worldwide use Trifacta solutions across cloud, hybrid and on-premises environments. Leading organizations such as Deutsche Boerse, Google, Kaiser Permanente, New York Life and PepsiCo count on Trifacta to accelerate time-to-insight and discover opportunities that drive success. Learn more at trifacta.com.