The Future is Bright for Self-service Data Prep

Recently, I had the pleasure of being both an attendee and a speaker at the Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit in Texas. As you can imagine, some of the hottest topics included the Internet of Things, the cloud, algorithmic business, advanced analytics and of course, self-service data prep.

My presentation focused on the latter and it was a recurring theme within many of the the summit’s agenda tracks:

  • Lead with Analytics
  • Control the Chaos
  • Drive the Value
  • Empower the User
  • Modernize the Core
  • Evangelize the New

Within many of these tracks, focus was placed on exploring the strategy and leadership required to ensure that analytical skills are used throughout the organization, how to deploy self-service capabilities across the enterprise without creating chaos, and driving home the fact that every business must be an analytics business with every user having access to analytics in order to succeed.

In case you missed it, Gartner’s own Research VP, Rita L. Sallam dedicated an entire presentation on the topic during her session: “The Next Big Market Disruption: Self-Service Data Preparation” at the event. According to Sallam, “Self-service data preparation will serve as a lynch pin that allows data and analytics leaders to support agile data requirements of the business while managing potential chaos from expanded self-service.”

Gartner Snapshot: Self-service data preparation
It stands to reason that Gartner estimates that the self-service data preparation software market will reach $1 billion by 2019, with a 16.6% CAGR according to its recently published Forecast Snapshot: Self-Service Data Preparation, Worldwide, 2016. In fact, by 2019, self-service data preparation software will represent 9.7% of the global revenue opportunity of the business intelligence (BI) platform market. In addition, Gartner goes on to state that currently, 10% of organizations have adopted some form of self-service data preparation, which is estimated to grow to 30% of organizations by 2020. The organization predicts the bulk of new adoption will be from large organizations in mature economies. (Adoption is currently 5% of potential target users and is estimated to grow to more than 10% by 2020.)

How Self-service Data Prep Tools Can Help
Clearly, the future is bright for self-service data prep tools – in part due to the fact that such solutions are having a tremendous impact on end users by providing faster, more accurate results. Simply put, users such as business analysts, information workers and data scientists need access to a wider variety of data including multi-structured content (PDF, log files, JSON, etc.) and streaming data without IT assistance. Thanks to existing self-service data prep tools, that need is fulfilled. In addition, time is reduced to extract, manipulate, enrich and combine disparate data and users can automate the preparation and delivery of new data, provide transparency to how data was manipulated and can later promote reuse.