Data challenges hampering AI adoption, survey finds
AI is seen by tech leaders as key to their business survival, but 86% say they would struggle to fully trust AI to make all business decisions without human intervention, according to a new survey from data integration player Fivetran.
The poll of 550 senior IT and data science professionals across the US, UK, Ireland, France and Germany found that 87% of organisations see AI as a vital tool in their future survival, but there is some reluctance to go “full-AI” with 90% of those surveyed still relying on manual data processes.
There is hope, however, with organisations laying the foundation for more sophisticated AI projects with plans to invest 13% of their global annual revenue into them within the next three to five years – compared to the 8% being invested today.
Almost all of those surveyed already collect and use data from operational systems but just 14% consider their AI maturity as “advanced”, according to Vanson Bourne who conducted the online poll on behalf of Fivetran.
More than two in five respondents (41%) conceded there was vast room for improvement in how their organisation used AI.
“This study highlights significant gaps in efficient data movement and access across organisations. A successful AI programme depends on a solid data foundation, starting with a cloud data warehouse or lake as its base,” said Fivetran CEO George Fraser.
“Analytic teams that utilise a modern data stack can more readily extend the value of their data and maximise their investments in AI and data science,” he added.
Despite enthusiasm to integrate AI technology, enterprises still face significant challenges that could hamper their plans, most notably with data.
Over 70% of those polled said they struggle to access all the data needed to run AI programmes, workloads and models, while at least 73% find each of the stages of extracting, loading and transforming the data, to translating it into practical advice for decision-makers a challenge.
This leads organisations to rely on people, rather than AI, to make key decisions, with firms in the UK and Ireland comprising the highest proportion (77%) of decisions made by people rather than technology.
Fivetran claims that these challenges are compounded by a failure to tap-in to the expertise of data scientists who were surveyed that admitted to dedicating less than a third of their time to building AI models, spending the rest of it on tasks outside of their job role. This includes managing and preparing data that could be managed by an AI system.
As a result, 87% agree that data scientists within their organisation are not being utilised to their full potential. Yet, recruitment is cited by 39% as the biggest barrier to AI adoption, highlighting the responsibility of organisations to urgently empower the talent they already have.
Data firm Fivetran recently spoke to TechInformed about the challenges organisations face getting access to reliable, trustworthy and effective data. Watch the full interview with Fivetran’s SVP for EMEA Stephen Mulholland HERE.
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