Gartner released its Market Guide for Data Preparation in mid-December, delving into one of the most critical tasks associated with analytics and business intelligence. Now that data preparation is so key for organizations across every industry, it’s imperative that decision-makers put the most valuable tools in place to assist and support their analytics initiatives.

Let’s take a look at some key insights Gartner highlighted in the report:

“Data preparation has evolved into an enterprise imperative.”

1. Data preparation tools are now mandatory

Gartner noted that the data preparation process – which enables enterprises to identify patterns within their critical data and leverage these insights for improved decision-making – has evolved into “an enterprise imperative.” In addition, it’s now clear that businesses that don’t take advantage of the robust data preparation tools currently on the market risk falling behind their competitors within the next few years:

  • By next year, Gartner predicts that businesses with the capability to leverage agile datasets will see double the enterprise benefits than organizations without this level of agility.
  • By 2020, more than half of all data integration efforts will rely on data preparation tools.

In this way, enterprises should seek to invest in a data preparation tool that can help improve efficiency and agility, and should leverage tools that enable use among multiple content authors.

2. Robust technology provides more time for critical analysis

One of the leading drivers toward data preparation solutions is their ability to speed time to insights while helping to eliminate some of the most time-consuming aspects of the analytics process.

“The business is demanding faster time to insight than ever before to remain competitive, particularly as more industries are facing digital disruption,” the report stated. “Amid this increasing complexity and business urgency, business people are challenged to get the insights they need in time without IT assistance.”

Currently, enterprises spend as much as 60 percent of their time completing data preparation, which leaves “little time for actual analysis,” as Gartner pointed out. In this type of environment, solutions that can provide self-service tools alongside automation will offer the most value.

3. Selecting a Data Preparation tool

Gartner’s report also highlighted the key capabilities enterprises should seek out when investing in and deploying a data preparation tool, including:

  • Basic data quality and security
  • Data source access and connectivity
  • Data ingestion exploration and profiling
  • Data cataloging and basic metadata management
  • Data structuring, modeling, and transformation
  • Data enrichment
  • User collaboration
  • Machine learning
  • Deployment models
  • Domain – or vertical-specific offerings or templates
  • Integration with other data integration, analytics/BI and data science platforms, MDM, and information stewardship solutions.

Selecting a solution that includes these capabilities will help ensure that proper efficiency is supported, and that critical analysis can begin as soon as possible.

To find out more about Gartner’s market analysis, connect with Unifi Software today.