Data Professionals Waste 50% of Time on Unsuccessful or Repeated Data Efforts, Costing Organizations Millions

Alteryx, revolutionizing business through data science and analytics, revealed that data professionals are wasting half of their time each week finding, protecting, or preparing data, costing organizations significant amounts of money. The IDC InfoBrief: The State of Data Discovery and Cataloging, commissioned by Alteryx, studied on 400+ individuals with data functions across North America and Europe.

Although this is a huge growth in demand of data analytics globally, the study shows that data professionals are spending more time governing, searching and preparing data than they are on extracting business value. Among the findings:

  • Data professionals spend 60% of their time getting to insight, but just 27% of that time is spent on actual analysis. Instead, 37% of that “getting to insight” time is spent searching for data and 36% of that time is spent preparing data.
  • These data workers waste 30% of their time—on average 14 hours per week—because they cannot find, protect or prepare data. They waste another 20% of their time—10 hours per week—building information assets that already exist. In total, they lose 50% of their time every week on unsuccessful activities or repeating efforts.
  • Even though data discovery and integrity is important for business, 30 to 50% of organizations say they are not where they want to be.
  • Inefficiencies of data intelligence and knowledge is costing U.S. organizations $1.7M per year for every 100 employees, and European organizations €1.1M per year for every 100 employees.

“Data discovery is important to all aspects of business, from operations efficiency to compliance to risk reduction, revenue growth, and beyond,” said Stewart Bond, Director of Data Integration and Integrity Software Research at IDC. “Knowledge of how, where and why data is used, by whom, and what information already exists will help data professionals refrain from repeating efforts, increase personal productivity and free-up time for more advanced analytics.”

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To download the full IDC InfoBrief, please visit