This year’s Gartner Data & Analytics Summit just wrapped up in Orlando, Florida. What a whirlwind three days filled with deep discussions and insightful learnings!
This year, data and analytics (D&A) is more important than ever in shaping how we work. Insights from data are crucial for decisions both big and small. And that’s where data leaders come in — taking that data and turn it into invaluable insights to help their organizations grow.
While we were at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, we took the opportunity to talk to over 300 data leaders about the year ahead. They shared their thoughts on what they’re excited about, what they see ahead for D&A, their cloud adoption strategies, and much more. Here’s what we found out.
56% of data leaders are increasing their budgets this year
The most surprising finding is that over half (56%) of data leaders said they increased their budget for D&A in 2023. Only 8% said that their budget decreased this year, while 36% of leaders’ budgets stayed the same.
It’s great news that most organizations are still increasing their budgets for data amidst recent economic uncertainty. It shows that they still believe in the importance of data and analytics and are willing to invest in it to drive growth and innovation.
Data governance is the top priority for 60% of data leaders
Data governance is a major priority for data leaders heading into 2023. In fact, 60% of them said that it’s their top priority for the year.
Other priorities include data quality (46%), data science and machine learning (40%), and DataOps (22%). This focus on improving how data is managed, protected, and validated is a great sign for organizations, since good data is the base of good insights and decisions.
Interestingly, only 34% of the leaders we surveyed said that self-service was a top priority. While this is still a large number, this shift toward prioritizing governance and data quality could reflect how data leaders have struggled with self-service for years. After all, making self-service work requires good governance — knowing what data is available, who owns it, where it comes from, whether you can trust it, and so on.
42% of data leaders keep the majority of their data in the cloud
Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, and data leaders are no exception.
We found that 42% of the data leaders we surveyed already store more than half of their data in the cloud. In contrast, 58% of data leaders haven’t yet fully shifted to the cloud.
Companies with the majority of their data in the cloud are almost evenly split on how much of their data is virtual. 22% of total respondents said that they have 51-75% of their data in the cloud, and 20% have more than 76% of their data in the cloud.
In contrast, many companies still prefer on-premise storage. 21% of total respondents said that they have less than 10% of their data in the cloud.
These findings suggest that while a significant number of organizations are transitioning to the cloud for their data needs, there is still a considerable percentage of organizations that have not fully adopted cloud computing for their data.
Data leaders are most excited about the possibilities of generative AI
Did you know that ChatGPT is the fastest growing consumer app ever? It reached 1 million users in just five days. With this hype, it’s no wonder that data leaders can’t wait to try out generative AI.
Over 55% of data leaders we surveyed said that they are most excited about the possibilities of generative AI in 2023. Generative AI has the potential to automate tasks, reduce human error, and increase efficiency — a game-changer for organizations that want to leverage the power of artificial intelligence.
Other technologies that caught their attention are data mesh and data fabric (38%), active metadata (30%), and data observability (30%). By contrast, only a few data leaders (7%) were most excited about data contracts.
Only 33% of data leaders track their team’s ROI
Tracking metrics is essential for measuring the success of D&A initiatives. Unfortunately, our survey found that the majority of respondents (67%) rely mainly on anecdotal results. They reported that they either have no formal way of tracking value and ROI, or they are in the early stages of planning around ROI.
Alternatively, 33% of data leaders report that they track their team’s ROI in some manner. 23% of all respondents said that they track some operational KPIs (e.g. number of fulfilled requests, developer hours, or time to ticket resolution).
Meanwhile, 10% said that they have both quantitative and qualitative metrics for success, connected to business outcomes and communicated clearly to multiple stakeholders. I’d really like to meet these 10% of leaders and learn from their example!
We had a blast talking to data leaders at the Gartner Summit and learning about what they’re excited about for 2023. It’s clear that data is up for an interesting year full of impact, innovation, and growth!
We just published The Future of the Modern Data Stack in 2023. Check out the insights that Towards Data Science featured in their top 3 reads of last year. Download the report here.