Fifty-four Percent of Respondents are Planning to Implement a Data Catalog Within the Next Six to Twelve Months
SAN MATEO, Calif., – August 7, 2018 – Unifi Software, a leader in providing a seamlessly integrated suite of self-service data tools, today announced the results of a survey conducted by 451 Research, which uncovered the most strategically important decisions for investing in data catalogs, key technology drivers, and organizational dynamics shaping self-service data access. 451 Research surveyed 400 respondents from May to July in critical data roles including Chief Data Officers, Data and BI Analysts, Data Engineers, Data Stewards, and IT Managers across North America in a wide range of industries.
According to 451 Research, most companies are increasing their investment in data processing, analytics and machine-learning software with a desire to become more data-driven. Data – and the rapid access and processing of data – are key drivers in enabling companies to grasp the opportunities presented by digital transformation to deliver a competitive advantage. To become data-driven, however, companies must also undergo a cultural and organizational shift to self-service. This survey reveals that the market is undergoing rapid adoption of data catalogs to enable self-service access to the right data and that Enterprise Data Catalogs, in particular, are a strategically important technology purchase.
“As we see the adoption of self-service analytics expand from a tactical to strategic initiative driven by the Office of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) or Chief Analytics Officer (CAO), enterprises need to consider how self-service analytics impacts multiple users, including IT Managers, Developers, Analysts and Data Scientists, ” said Matt Aslett, Research Vice President, Data Platforms and Analytics, 451 Research. “The question of investment and justification to spend on infrastructure and data management tools, particularly data catalogs enabled with data governance to enable self-service analytics, is, therefore, becoming much more prominent.”
By 2020 Companies Will Have Widespread Adoption of Data Catalogs
The survey found that adoption of data catalogs is expected to mature rapidly, with enterprises looking to adopt Enterprise Data Catalogs that go beyond catalogs for individual data lakes, data warehouses, and cloud resources to provide a holistic view of data across the data estate.
Of those surveyed, 54 percent of respondents are planning to implement a data catalog within the next 6 to 12 months at their organization. While companies initially saw data lakes as an initial driver of adoption, 35 percent of respondents are now planning to implement an Enterprise Data Catalog. The vast majority of companies want to access data that resides in any instance including a data lake, or data warehouse, and in any environment–cloud or on-premises.
Access to Data Extends Beyond Data Engineers and Developers
Companies anticipate a substantial increase in the number of users that will have access to a data catalog inside their organization in the next two years. Today, access is highly varied with the largest percentage of users falling between 50 to 100 users per company; primarily Data Engineers, Developers and Analysts. Two years down the line the survey shows a huge leap among companies that anticipate more than 1000 users inside their organization accessing a data catalog, the majority of which are business executives and line of business users. This signals not only the rapid rise in adoption of data catalogs but also the widespread acceptance for more self-service access to data outside of traditional IT and data science roles.
“Where over 45 percent of users today are Data Engineers, what was particularly surprising was the growth over the next two years to where data executives and line of business users will make up the biggest portion of primary users of a data catalog,” said Aslett. “This is in line with what we’re hearing anecdotally from talking to vendors and users in this space, that there’s a rapid and widespread adoption of a data catalog. Once it’s in an environment—initially perhaps for a use case or business project, its use quickly expands throughout an organization. The data in this survey absolutely supports what we hear in the market.”
Infrastructure Optimization Leads Investment Decision
The survey found that Infrastructure optimization was the number one reason in the decision to invest in a data catalog. One-quarter of all respondents felt that a data catalog was most critical for alleviating the challenges of accessing data in existing environments. This response was followed closely by the need to invest in technology due to a lack of skilled knowledge workers causing a delay in data access and time to insights. Similarly, cost savings calculated as faster return on insights, i.e. less time waiting for IT assistance and more self-service access both received response rates of 23 percent respectively.
It came as no surprise then that the technical capabilities of vendors, therefore, rated highest among those surveyed when selecting a primary data catalog. Capabilities for easily searching across multiple data sources and data silos to provide a complete view of a company’s data was by far the largest business benefit. Companies are really zeroing in on and trying to solve this problem. As data catalogs are now viewed as a strategic investment for an organization having a trusted brand also surfaced as an important factor in the overall decision-making process.
“We hear directly from customers, partners and potential clients that the most significant challenge today is knowing what data exists inside their company, and how to access it in order to get value out,” said Andy Sheldon, Vice President of Marketing for Unifi Software. “That problem, in and of itself, has tremendous cost implications across a company both in time and revenue. Our platform was built from day one to provide business users at all levels with easy access to data to hypothesize in the moment. We agree the time for self-service access is now, and with the momentum for data catalogs we’re extremely well positioned to help many more companies solve their data challenges.”
With product selection currently driven by the IT department, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Return on Investment (ROI) is not yet a key selection criteria, but users are cognizant of cost considerations and as a greater proportion of funding is coming from line of business or the office of the CDO, expect ROI considerations to become more significant over time.
For more information on the survey findings view the recent Webinar with 451 Research and Unifi Software here: https://451research.com/webinars – How to Justify an Investment in a Data Catalog.
For more information about Unifi Software call 1-844-TO-UNIFI or visit www.unifisoftware.com.
About Unifi Software
The Unifi Data Platform breaks down the barriers of operational data silos and democratizes information across the enterprise. At the heart of the platform is a comprehensive suite of self-service data tools to empower business users. Employing machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, governed by IT and cloud-optimized, Unifi predicts what the business user wants to visualize and then connects the resulting data natively to the BI tool for fast, accurate results.
Unifi was founded by data and enterprise infrastructure experts from Greenplum (now part of Dell Technologies), Oracle, Microsoft, and Platfora (now part of Workday). Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, Unifi operates regional offices across the U.S. and a development center in Bangalore, India.