Analytics Maturity Snapshot: Is Cloud Integration the Solution to Data Access Problems?

The numbers say cloud adoption leads to promising results.

Technology   |   Shane Remer   |   Feb 13, 2023

Editor’s note: While the Alteryx Analytics Maturity Assessment helps leaders evaluate the state of their individual organization’s analytics efforts, the data behind the assessment provides a unique macro view of analytics adoption and strategy. Every quarter, we’ll report on the trends and takeaways that are reflecting the collective sentiment of respondents. Here are the results from Q1. 

There’s no question that leaders recognize the importance of analytics.

But their words don’t always match their actions.

Only 22 percent of Alteryx Analytics Maturity Assessment (AMA) respondents said that leaders who talk about the importance of analytics at their company also put what they say into action.


Who’s talking the talk and walking the walk when it comes to analytics?

These actions include driving democratization projects, implementing cloud solutions to increase analytics use, and breaking down silos.

It’s astounding when you consider that respondents cited “leading digital transformation for their organization” as their number one data problem.

So why the disconnect?

For starters, democratizing data isn’t easy. It’s an organizational effort. Getting it right can lead to a considerable increase in ROI. Getting it wrong can have devastating effects on a company’s performance.

Leaders that recognize the importance of analytics but aren’t putting plans into action may simply be weighing the costs of doing nothing versus the costs of doing something wrong.

They may also be stymied by other roadblocks. Integrating even one solution involves dedicating resources to planning, implementation, training, and costs.

The lack of turning words into action might be more of a logistical issue than a hypocritical one, especially when budgetary concerns, disparate data sources, training staff, and more are considered.

But that brings us to another problem.


Data in the hands of decision makers? Not always.

It’s 2023, and only 9 percent of people report using data to frame and guide business decisions.

9 percent.

That’s it.

It’s a worryingly small number but also a symptom of a more significant problem.

Most respondents to the Alteryx Maturity Assessment said that only 11-25 percent of decision-makers in their organization have access to data.

Only 4.8% said they leverage external and unstructured data effectively.




Percent of decision makers with access to data

And this is all happening at a time when the number of available data sources is rapidly growing and using them is becoming increasingly critical to organizational success.

The problem of data access is directly related to the problem of inaction from organizations to put data and analytics plans into action.

But, as discussed, that inaction isn’t for lack of want. If anything, the problem of data access is a feedback loop.

To increase revenue, executives need leaders to make decisions that provide competitive advantages and winning outcomes. For that, leaders need timely insights. For that, analysts need access to data and advanced analytic capabilities, such as machine learning.

And for that, executives need to implement solutions their teams can use.

It’s risky business.

A lack of action leads to improper governance, the risk of fines and fees, and slower decisions that affect top-line growth and bottom-line returns. For companies teetering on the edge of profitability, the lack of data access and analytics could be the nudge that sends them over it.

But there is good news.


Cloud and hybrid solutions naturally solve organizational data and analytics problems.

Cloud integrations are good for data access, analytics capabilities, and democratization.

Based on answers to the Alteryx AMA, organizations that have adopted cloud or hybrid analytics solutions report having more access to organizational data.

They also report having more advanced capabilities when using that data, such as machine learning.

Cloud and hybrid solutions naturally lend themselves to centralization, democratization, and governance. They’re built to integrate with both on-prem and cloud services.

These benefits make cloud solutions more straightforward for organizations to deploy and manage across their enterprise.

Suddenly, the executive leadership that wants to increase data access has a solution connecting all of their on-prem and cloud solutions. So, data is naturally available to anyone who wants to use it.

Analysts can search analytic assets (no matter where they’re stored). Machine learning and other advanced analytical capabilities increase data accuracy and insights. Leaders can use the information they receive to make better decisions.
And executives see greater ROI.

This isn’t to say that any cloud is the solution to all of a company’s analytical woes. There are a multitude of factors that go into selecting the right one. But this does show the importance of cloud integrations for those wanting to back up their talk with action.


About the Alteryx Analytics Maturity Assessment

The Analytics Maturity Assessment is an industry benchmark developed by independent research and advisory firm The International Institute for Analytics (IIA), working with hundreds of organizations worldwide.

Third-party research indicates that analytically mature organizations outperform others in their industry across nearly every metric, including 3-year revenue and 5-year operating income.

Over a 10-year period, Stage 2 organizations trail Stage 4 organizations by nearly 4.8x in operating income and 6x in revenue.
Currently, the average score on the analytics maturity assessment is 2.2.

We developed this 15-question assessment in partnership with the IIA to help you assess your analytics maturity. After you complete the assessment, you’ll receive a personalized, complimentary report on your analytics performance, plus guidance on actions you can take to increase your analytics maturity.