Two out of five business and IT decision-makers say that artificial intelligence and machine learning are streamlining or transforming their business operations, including by improving processes and customer experiences. The same percentage (40%) said the impact of AI and ML has made them consider the importance of accurate data, and 36% cite AI and ML as the reason why analytics is now at forefront of business thinking.
When asked what digital investments their organisations have made to support or enable artificial intelligence, 46% named data quality.
Mathias Golombek, the chief technology officer at Exasol, said this is key and that a lot of investment is being made into it, alongside data cleaning and data preparation. “That is a big hurdle for getting more out of artificial intelligence and machine learning. If you can reduce that [time spent on data cleaning and prepartion], then you can gain a lot of time for doing more and getting more out of the applications.”
"The more you combine data, the more you get out of it."
Some 37% said that their company is investing in data consolidation to support AI. According to Golombek: “Where the data-side teams are sitting on data silos and not having access to a broad range of company data [there is a problem]. The more you can combine that data across the departments and across the whole company, the more you can get out of data and become more data-driven.”
Other digital investments being made were into cloud migration of data sources (37%), on-demand processing and computing services, such as AWS or Azure (30%), distributed databases (23%) and data lakes (21%).
Golombek added that while investment in technology is important to build a base for artificial intelligence and machine learning, it can be a challenge in large organisations due to internal politics, a lack of skills or a lack of confidence between teams. He also said that cultural and organisational challenges can be far more complex to deal with.
The research was commissioned by Exasol and carried out by Vanson Bourne among 500 business and IT decision-makers from the UK and Germany.