Statistical Data Analysis

Are expensive data analysts wasting a lot of time?

New research – The State of Data Discovery and Cataloging (based on a sample of 400 from IDC and Alteryx) – suggests that, like in many walks of business, data professionals are wasting large amounts of time trying to find information. This may be particularly significant however, because ‘data analysts’ are constantly getting described as the hottest – and best paid – job roles, so all this wasted effort could be hitting companies particularly hard. Chiara Pensato, director of Alteryx in EMEA, provides a bit more information on the findings in the lightly edited Q&A below.


Why are data science and analytics professionals wasting so much time finding, protecting, or preparing data?

Most analysts need to leverage from five to 15 data sources to help them make business decisions. The information that data professionals work with isn’t always easy to use. It is often incomplete, and often not timely, and is hard for them to discover in the first place. On top of this, data professionals are often questioning this information, as it is often not rated by those using it. Without self-service analytics, working with data is often a multi-stage, labor-intensive process to get it into a useable state to interrogate in the first place – and that’s where analysts want to be: Doing the job they are paid for. With data often disparate, spread across a number of different systems, and there simply being so much of it, it makes it difficult to know what is relevant. Data can be in many different forms and structures. Preparing it takes time, doubly so without the right solutions to make the process simple.


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