New Attunity-Unisphere Research Study Finds Data Professionals Challenged to Deliver Timely Information to Decision Makers

Despite IT industry talk about the need for "real-time data," a new survey of more than 330 data managers and professionals who are subscribers to Database Trends and Applications reveals that access to current data to support decision making is not actually possible for many companies. At least half of companies represented in the survey indicate that relevant data still takes 24 hours or longer to reach decision makers.

The survey, which was conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., in partnership with Attunity, a provider of information availability software solutions, in March of 2012, also finds that organizations are being deluged by big data, and an increasing proportion consists of unstructured data.

The results of the study were showcased in a webcast presented by presented by Thomas J. Wilson, president of Unisphere Research. The webcast is now available on demand.

The full report, titled "MOVING DATA: CHARTING THE JOURNEY FROM BATCH TO BLAZING - 2012 SURVEY ON DATA INTEGRATION STRATEGIES," is available for download from Attunity. 

To compete effectively, organizations need the right information, at the right time. However, there is no one single source for relevant data and enterprises typically have a vast array of data types and formats flowing in from their own systems and databases, as well as from external sources.  Organizations are still bound to traditional, closed, or siloed, data management environments, thus impeding their ability to bring analytic capabilities to decision makers that need it. As a result, most companies cannot yet be considered data-driven organizations.

The gap between what is needed and what is being delivered has led to a confidence gap by users. Just 18% of the respondents reported high confidence among end users in the timeliness of data used in their BI systems.

Among the survey's key findings are that companies now manage massive data stores, scaling into the hundreds of terabytes. However, moving this data to where it is needed is a challenge in many organizations and in fact 51% of respondents say they move only a fraction - less than 500GB - of data between systems and users on a daily basis.

Half of the sites surveyed deliver data within 24 hours of initial creation, but half take longer. Almost a third of respondents agree that users want to see data closer to real time. However, funding to make this possible remains an obstacle, as well as concern about the quality of such data.

Relational databases and data warehouses still lead as the primary platforms by which analytical data is delivered. However, high-volume data sites are shifting from relational databases and data warehouses to newer types of solutions, such as appliances and data virtualization to move data faster and more seamlessly. Respondents also recognize the advantages cloud computing can bring to real-time data integration, and many efforts are now underway, mainly with private or hybrid cloud-based services.

The largest segment, 27%, of respondents to the survey consists of professionals who are on the front lines of database administration and development, including DBAs, followed by data consultants, IT managers, programmers and developers. More than one-fourth of respondents come from very large organizations with more than 10,000 employees, but there is also a significant contingent of small-to-medium-size businesses represented in the survey as well.