No single version of the truth for 7 in 10 businesses, report finds

Key decision makers from 7 in 10 businesses in the UK & Ireland have revealed that they are facing analytics confusion, with their platforms unable to produce a single version of the truth.

The findings were published as part of a report by SAS, the leader in analytics and AI, entitled A Silver Lining from Every Cloud.  It looks at the challenges businesses face when relying on multiple public and private cloud platforms to host business data and applications. More than 200 key decision-makers in the UK & Ireland in data, analytics and cloud services, each from companies with more than 3,000 employees, took part in a survey which led to the report.

It found that businesses in the UK & Ireland are operating on average, four analytics platforms to garner insights from their business data and applications. This issue is exacerbated by organisations typically operating across three private clouds, with nearly half (42%) also relying on at least two public cloud providers for business applications, analytics and hosting business critical data. The combined effect is causing a real headache for businesses and decision makers with 71% stating that they’re getting multiple answers to the same question from their analytics platforms.

Accuracy is an even bigger concern. Eight in 10 are questioning the accuracy of the insights and answers their analytics are producing. A big reason for this is likely to be that the same proportion admit they are manually consolidating data from across their cloud environment - a timely and costly practice that likely leads to human error, putting the accuracy of insights at risk.

More than half (62%) of businesses are struggling to redeploy people with the right skills across all their analytics platforms - which won’t come as a surprise to many following the SAS report in 2022 that found 63 per cent of businesses don’t have access to people with the right AI and analytics skills.

This is also contributing to a delay in extracting insights, with 61% of decision makers saying the wait for insights and answers from their analytics is too long.

Paul Jones, Head of Technology at SAS UK & Ireland, says the report highlights a number of alarming challenges businesses have to solve to ensure the right insight-based decisions are being made. He said:

“A single version of the truth is what every business must demand from its analytics environment. Taking insights from inaccurate or unreliable information is arguably worse than having no insights to support decision-making. It’s worrying that so many businesses are faced with significant challenges and delays caused by having multiple cloud and disparate analytics platforms.

“The solution to improving accuracy and speed to insights is consolidation of data around a single cloud agnostic analytics platform like SAS Viya, which also has the flexibility to work with data stored on premise. Working from a single analytics platform that can process algorithms at efficiently high speed and accommodate different coding languages is more cost-efficient, requires fewer skilled people and training costs to operate and most importantly provides a single version of the truth that businesses can rely on to make the right decisions.”

Today’s announcement was made at SAS Innovate on Tour in London, a live event on the future of AI and data analytics for leaders and innovators.

About the research

SAS commissioned the research which was carried out by Coleman Parkes, from December 2022 to January 2023. The research was conducted to Market Research Society standards. Respondents were decision-makers in data, analytics and cloud services based in the UK and Ireland. There were 200 respondents in total, and each worked at companies with more than 3,000 employees.

No single version of the truth for 7 in 10 businesses, report finds

About SAS

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