Press release

Dark Data Research Reveals Widespread Complacency in Driving Business Results and Career Growth

Sponsored by Businesswire

(NASDAQ: SPLK), delivering actions and outcomes from the world
of data, today released research that shows organizations are ignoring
potentially valuable data and don’t have the resources they need to take
advantage of it. The research reveals that although business executives
recognize the value of using all of their data, more than half (55
percent) of an organization’s total data is “dark data,” meaning they
either don’t know it exists or don’t know how to find, prepare, analyze
or use it.

The State of Dark Data Report, built using research conducted by TRUE
Global Intelligence and directed by Splunk, surveyed more than 1,300
global business managers and IT leaders about how their organizations
collect, manage and use data. In an era where data is connecting
devices, systems and people at unprecedented growth rates, the results
show that while data is top of mind, action is often far behind.

  • 76 percent of respondents surveyed across the U.S., U.K., France,
    Germany, China, Japan, and Australia agree “the organization that has
    the most data is going to win.”
  • 60 percent of respondents said that more than half of their
    organizations’ data is dark, and one-third of respondents say more
    than 75 percent of their organization’s data is dark.
  • Business leaders say their top three obstacles to recovering dark data
    is the volume of data, followed by the lack of necessary skill sets
    and resources.
  • More than half (56 percent) admit that “data-driven” is just a slogan
    in their organization.
  • 82 percent say humans are and will always be at the heart of AI.

“Data is hard to work with because it’s growing at an alarming rate and
is hard to structure and organize. So, it’s easy for organizations to
feel helpless in this chaotic landscape,” says Tim Tully, chief
technology officer, Splunk. “I was pleased to see the opportunity people
around the world attach to dark data, even though fewer than a third of
those surveyed say they have the skills to turn data into action. This
presents a tremendous opportunity for motivated leaders, professionals
and employers to learn new skills and reach a new level of results.
Splunk can help those organizations feel empowered to take control of
identifying and using dark data.”

Respondents are Slow to Seize Career and Leadership Opportunities

While respondents understand the value of dark data, they admit they
don’t have the tools, expertise or staff to take advantage of it. Plus,
the majority of senior leaders say they are close enough to retirement
that they aren’t motivated to become data-literate. Data is the future
of work, but only a small percentage of professionals seem to be taking
it seriously. Respondents agree there is no single answer, though the
top solutions having potential included training more employees in data
science and analytics, increasing funding for data wrangling, and
deploying software to enable less technical employees to analyze the
data for themselves.

  • 92 percent say they are “willing” to learn new data skills but only 57
    percent are “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic to work more with data.
  • 69 percent said they were content to keep doing what they’re doing,
    regardless of the impact on the business or their career.
  • More than half of respondents (53 percent) said they are too old to
    learn new data skills when asked what they were doing to educate
    themselves and their teams.
  • 66 percent cite lack of support from senior leaders as a challenge in
    gathering data and roughly one-in-five respondents (21 percent) cite
    lack of interest from organization leaders as a challenge.

AI is Believed to Be The Next Frontier for Data-Savvy Organizations

Globally, respondents believe AI will generally augment opportunities,
rather than replace people. While the survey revealed that few
organizations are using AI right now, a majority see its vast potential.
For example, in a series of use cases including operational efficiency,
strategic decision making, HR and customer experience, only 10 to 15
percent say their organizations are deploying AI for these use cases
while roughly two-thirds see the potential value.

  • A majority of respondents (71 percent) saw potential in employing AI
    to analyze data.
  • 73 percent think AI can make up for the skills gaps in IT.
  • 82 percent say humans are and will always be at the heart of AI and 72
    percent say that AI is just a tool to solve business problems.
  • Only 12 percent are using AI to guide business strategy and 61 percent
    expect their organization to increase its use of AI this way over the
    next five years.

Regional Differences Fuel Range of Opinions: China Furthest Ahead in
Understanding the Potential of Dark Data

The research also discovered some distinct differences in attitude and
opinion between the seven countries polled. For example, French, German
and Japanese respondents seem less concerned about the value of data
skills to their careers, with affirmative answers roughly 25 percent
lower on average, than their counterparts in other countries.
Respondents in China overwhelmingly voice the most enthusiasm and
confidence in AI but their current adoption is only slightly higher than
the global average. (20 to 16 percent)

  • Australian respondents implied the lowest AI adoption rates among all
    countries surveyed with 43 percent saying AI is already – or will in
    the near future be – an important part of their organizations’
    operations compared to the global average of 52 percent.
  • Although China leads response rates on the value and impact of AI
    across the research, 93 percent of Chinese respondents also believe
    machines can never replace human qualities like curiosity, creativity
    and initiative – the highest of any country.
  • Only 64 percent of French respondents think data is a central
    component of an organization’s success compared to 81 percent globally.
  • Only 58 percent of German leaders think data will grow more valuable
    over the next decade compared to 71 percent globally.
  • Nearly four out of ten people in Japan (38 percent) say they are
    excited about working with data, lagging behind the global response of
    57 percent.
  • 39 percent of people in the United Kingdom strongly believe AI can
    make up for the skills gap versus only 27 percent globally.

About Splunk Inc.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) helps organizations ask questions, get
answers, take actions and achieve business outcomes from their data.
Organizations use market-leading Splunk solutions with machine learning
to monitor, investigate and act on all forms of business, IT, security,
and Internet of Things data. Join millions of passionate users and try
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