Data analysts only spend half their time on analysis

While companies continue to invest in teams of data experts, a Fivetran survey suggests that adding more data analytics wizards might not be the solution. In fact, the survey found that during the course of a workday, data analysts spend less than half their time actually analyzing data.

data analysts

Conducted by Dimensional Research, the online survey of approximately 500 data professionals across five continents also shows 68 percent of the respondents have ideas that would drive more profit for their organizations but lack time to implement them.

The struggles of data professionals

More than 60 percent of respondents reported wasting time waiting for engineering resources several times each month and often spending one-third of every workday just trying to access data. 90 percent said their work was slowed by numerous unreliable data sources over the last 12 months.

“The struggles data professionals face in simply doing their work and the time they waste is astounding,” said George Fraser, CEO of Fivetran.

“To keep critical analytics projects moving, these unsung heroes contend with numerous workarounds to compensate for unavailable engineering resources and unreliable data sources. Fivetran ready-to-use connectors help remove some of these bottlenecks and allow analysts to instead focus on uncovering insights.”

The challenges

As enterprises strive to optimize decision-making in a rapidly evolving global economic landscape, the study indicates that enabling analysts to spend more time analyzing and less time finding, fixing and stabilizing data will drive better decisions and increased profits.

Much of the problem lies in data integrity, quality and access — the top three challenges almost unanimously pointed to by the survey respondents.

Other findings

  • 71 percent of companies plan to hire more data analysts within the next year
  • 74 percent of companies will grow business intelligence users in the same time period
  • At the same time, 86 percent struggle with working with out-of-date data
  • 41 percent report they had used data that was two months old or older
  • 60 percent deal with frequently changing data schemas
  • 92 percent state they often need to perform tasks outside their role



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