Half of businesses (52%) keep their data in five or more storage platforms, according to a report published Thursday by Starburst and Red Hat. The survey, conducted by Enterprise Management Associates, consulted 402 data and IT decision makers globally.
For six in 10 companies, building a data pipeline — setting up the necessary infrastructure to gather data insights — takes more than one business day, while 27% of companies spend between three days and two months.
Grappling with a growing data platform ecosystem, more than one-third of respondents say they are only somewhat confident, or not confident, in their ability to leverage data insights.
Data can take the guesswork out of complex business decisions and make companies more likely to surpass their revenue targets. But the IT infrastructure needs to quickly scrape and analyze heaps of data or the premise falls through.
In the search for modernization, leaders supported the desire to expand on data capabilities by investing in internal teams or partnering with outside organizations. In the auto space, Ford recently teamed up with Google on a six-year partnership to leverage Google Cloud's data capabilities.
A collaborative group called Team Upshift will help the automaker "create and make the most of data-driven opportunities in our industrial system," said Ford CEO Jim Farley, during the company's Q4 earnings call in February.
Already a trend prior to 2020, consumer pattern changes as a consequence of the pandemic clarified the urgency of data insights. For 53% of respondents in Starburst and Red Hat's study, data access turned critical or far more critical after the pandemic.
Despite complexity, CIOs and business leaders alike need to make data-driven decisions to maximize ROI and improve bottom lines, said Uzi Dvir, global CIO at WalkMe, in an email.
"As we embrace the new digital future, CIOs should look for clear and measurable data in order to decide the best course of action for their business," said Dvir.
With each new data platform or instance added to the ecosystem, cost and complexity rise, according to the report. CIOs risk ending up with a "a quagmire of information scattered throughout organizations that have spent millions on data warehouses and data lakes."
Data challenges are part of a broader trend noted by technologists, with eight in ten saying their job became more complex during 2020, according to data from software company AppDynamics. Quick innovation and a sprawling technology stack increase the degree of difficulty.