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From Data Security to AI: BARC Reveals Key Trends in Data & Analytics

Data security and data quality are the most important topics in data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics according to BARC’s recently published study Data, BI and Analytics Trend Monitor 2024. The ninth edition of the world’s largest survey on trends in data management, BI and analytics is based on feedback from over 2,300 users, consultants and software providers, offering an unprecedented insight into current and emerging trends.

Data security & privacy at number 1

Appearing in Data, BI and Analytics Trend Monitor 2024 for the first time, “data security & privacy” goes straight to number one in the rankings (see Figure 1). Data security involves safeguarding data from theft, manipulation or destruction. The rising frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks, coupled with global market uncertainty, is fueling the demand for security measures. However, the reality in businesses today does not always reflect this.

From Data Security to AI: BARC Reveals Key Trends in Data & Analytics

Figure 1: The most important trends in data, BI and analytics – © BARC 2023 (n = 2,398)

After six years at the top, the critical topic of data quality management now ranks second in the list of most important trends. Correct decisions can only be made based on reliable, consistent data, and AI models can only make accurate predictions if they are trained and supplied with the right data.

The significance of data governance (ranked third) has also increased in recent years. Beyond its primary goals of data security and quality, it significantly shapes the data culture of a company. Finding a balance between easy access to data and ensuring compliance, data ethics and efficiency is crucial here.

Artificial intelligence increasingly important due to generative AI

“Advanced analytics, machine learning & AI” jumps from 13th to 7th place in the rankings this year. This development is driven in part by the hype around generative AI. GenAI has left no company untouched in 2023 and has elevated the discussion about the possibilities and limits of decision-making, automation and human-machine interaction to a societal level. It describes new types of large, pre-trained AI models that can create new content such as text, images, audio and sound.

Innovation in this area is booming, and we expect to see many fascinating advancements in the coming years. Potential use cases are diverse and are only now slowly emerging in the context of data and analytics. Early GenAI-enabled product features include SQL generation, building data models, matching data for data pipelines, uncovering interesting relationships in data, and natural language interaction with BI tools.

Humans remain the decisive factor

The study emphasizes that, in addition to advancing technology, especially in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the human aspects of data and analytics are still of crucial importance. Trends such as data literacy, data governance and establishing a data-driven culture are particularly valued by respondents. This reinforces the need to strengthen both the technical skills and the awareness and ethics of dealing with data in organizations.

This focus on the human factor shows that success in the data world depends not only on advanced technologies but also on the ability of people to use them effectively and responsibly. This year’s study highlights how important it is to create an environment in which employees at all levels of the organization are data literate and aware in order to maximize the benefits from BI and analytics tools.

Importance for companies and the industry

“The results of the Trend Monitor 2024 show what really matters to users: (1) A secure and high-quality data foundation; (2) involving people and building an effective data culture and organization; and (3) using self-service analytics and AI on modern data platforms,” said Dr. Carsten Bange, CEO of BARC. “The Data, BI and Analytics Trend Monitor 2024 is not just a snapshot of current market developments in the field of data and analytics. It also offers profound insights into the trends that will shape companies and the industry in the coming years. For companies that want to align their data and analytics strategies with global developments, this study is an indispensable guide.”

Download the survey for free now:

About BARC

BARC is a leading analyst firm for data & analytics and enterprise software with a reputation for unbiased and trusted advice. Our expert analysts deliver a wide range of research, events and advisory services for the data & analytics community. Our innovative research evaluates software and vendors rigorously and highlights market trends, delivering insights that enable our customers to innovate with data, analytics and AI. BARC’s 25 years of experience with data strategy & culture, data architecture, organization and software selection help clients transform into truly data-driven organizations.


Axel Bange

Axel Bange

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