Our 2022 AI Strategy Priorities report highlighted some of the top challenges AI-focused executives will face in the coming months as they seek to advance their strategies and drive business results.
These include improving inefficient data governance processes, developing scalable analytics and AI capabilities and securing the necessary budget and executive support for information architecture investment.
Building on these findings, we invited some of the executives who contributed their insights to the report to share their advice for overcoming these data and AI strategy barriers in an exclusive panel discussion at our recent CDAO Fall Virtual event.
Democratizing data and analytics through self-service tools or dashboards helps provide a foundation for data-driven decision-making across the enterprise. But only 9% of the 100 executives we surveyed for our 2022 AI Strategy Priorities research say most of the staff in their organizations currently have access to relevant insights for their roles.
For the panelists at CDAO Fall Virtual, this statistic came as no surprise. They attributed this to factors including changes in how businesses consume data, persistent data silos and the fact that companies are dealing with more information than ever before.
Ali Bajwa, Director of Partner Engineering at cloud platform provider Cloudera, noted that this means information is spread often all over the organization, creating pockets of analytics that make it more difficult to extract insights across the full data at scale.
“We see this struggle between central and shadow IT a lot, where you have central IT thinking long-term and shadow IT trying to spin up whatever they need, whenever they need,” Rai agreed. “It takes a high level of governance in a company to avoid different groups trying to manage their own data and coming up with different data solutions.”
Vijay Venkatesan, Chief Analytics Officer at healthcare and health insurance provider Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, concurred: “A lot of organizations have pockets of analytics spread throughout them. So, when you ask what self-service really means, you’ll get different answers.”
Data democratization has become a hot topic in recent years. Increasingly, enterprises want to empower non-data staff to use data-driven insights and embed data-driven business practices across their whole organizations.
For many companies, data democratization initiatives start with delivering programs to improve the data literacy of non-technical staff. But in this week’s Business of Data podcast, eBay’s VP, Data Analytics Platform, Ishita Majumdar, shares how this alone has not been sufficient to entrench data-driven business practices at the e-commerce giant.