Businesses are not ‘Data Ready’ for Gen AI, says Alteryx

A report by Alteryx finds that organisations must prepare, as they are not ready to unlock real value from Gen AI as a result of insufficient data stacks

Whilst businesses are scrambling to invest in generative AI (Gen AI), it has been suggested that their strategies are not strong enough to properly implement it.

A new report by AI analytics platform Alteryx finds that data silos pose barriers for businesses seeking to harness Gen AI.

The findings, Data Stack Evolution: Legacy Challenges and AI Opportunities, are presented as a wake up call for organisations, highlighting that they must better prepare for the continued mass rollout of new technologies by addressing flaws in their data stacks.

As IT teams around the world seek to prepare for greater AI adoption, Alteryx’s research has found consistent barriers preventing successful technology rollouts of Gen AI. These challenges include the management of data stacks, technology strategies and business cultures.

Inflexible tech strategies could hinder AI progress

Companies around the world are continuing to shift their focus towards AI investments, ensuring that they can keep pace within a digitally evolving world.

However, despite more than three-quarters (76%) of businesses trusting their data, only 10% of businesses have a “modern” data stack, with a fifth experiencing ongoing challenges including data bias (22%) and data quality (20%).

Almost half (41%) of IT leaders don’t have a centralised data or analytics function, hindering innovation, with 48% of businesses reporting data silos in their organisation.

A data silo is a collection of data that is not fully accessible by other parts of an organisation. This can make it difficult to harness or develop AI, as they can cause inconsistent data quality and reduced visibility for businesses.

Despite these concerns, Alteryx finds that almost half (47%) of businesses are actively working to modernise their systems to improve data outcomes, with improved data quality (23%) emerging as the leading desired outcome from new technology investment.

When it comes to AI, Alteryx's Chief Information Officer Trevor Schulze noted in an exclusive interview with AI Magazine: “Gen AI offers the perfect capability for decision-makers with no data science skills to deliver insights via a natural language prompt.

“Businesses leveraging generative AI can uncover new patterns and insights in their data to make faster, better decisions and drive business value.”

How to take advantage of AI resources

Whilst businesses appear to be taking steps to improve their systems, Alteryx cites that their technology strategies could be hindering wider AI adoption.

The research highlights a key disconnect between global IT leaders’ confidence in their data and the reality of their data stacks. Although 54% rated their data maturity as “good” or “advanced”, with 76% having trust in their data, a fifth of those surveyed highlighted ongoing challenges, including data bias (22%) and data quality (20%) - all of which can have huge consequences for AI business development.

Whilst businesses recognise that investing in new technologies is important, current budget allocations could leave little room for greater agility for digital transformation, given how fast AI is evolving. 

“To succeed in this era of automated data-driven intelligence, modern data stacks and a data-skilled workforce should be brought together to take full advantage of available data, compute and automation resources,” says Jason Janicke, SVP EMEA at Alteryx. 

“The modern data stack must accelerate the data journey while empowering everyone to solve business challenges and deliver decision intelligence, not just the tech workers. The best measure of success of such a stack is the number of teams it empowers to make data-driven decisions faster and more effectively, ahead of the competition.” 

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