In an organization, the ability to access and use data can provide an edge over the competition, help weather storms in volatile markets and enhance business processes. The increasing importance of useable, agile data only strengthens the argument for a modern approach to data and data preparation. Data preparation, as defined by Senior BARC Analysts Robert Tischler and Timm Grosser is... 

“...the process of preparing and providing data
for data discovery and analytics.”

A recent BARC report entitled, Data Preparation—Refining Raw Data into Value, Tischler and Grosser look at current views on data preparation by surveying over 690 BI professionals in various regions and industries. The report explores seven key observations or hot spots on data preparation.

Let’s examine three of these hot spots:


1. Data Governance: The Fundamental Pillar for Creating Value from Data: The basic aim of data governance is to establish responsibilities, structure and goals; provide definition where needed and ensure data quality and data security. The true challenge is finding the right balance between stability and flexibility. The findings illustrate the importance of data quality (70%) and data security (64%) in terms of critical importance for data governance.


2. Supply, Demand and the Skillset that Makes Data Useful: Strategies that support data prep for discovery and analytics are in great demand. However, talent, skillset and budget for data preparation are in short supply. The lack of knowledge with business-side users (53%) is an important issue with survey participants.

3. Unleash Greater Potential with the Right Tools: It should come as no surprise that the first tool of choice for data preparation is Excel. A staggering 75% of respondents use Excel for data preparation. The use of specialized tools for data preparation is low and raises the question, are spreadsheets limiting the potential for specialized data preparation tools?

According to the survey, organizations want:

  • Improved data-driven decision making to quickly recognize changing conditions
  • Easier data access
  • Improved analytical efficiency and flexibility

The lack of proper coverage with data preparation tools demonstrates the potential for improvement. The survey highlights more suitable tools and urges companies to look beyond spreadsheets to tackle the complexities surrounding data and all its challenges. When it comes to data management, consider the opportunity cost.

Read the entire BARC Management Report on data preparation by Tischler and Grosser, available in English, German and French or learn more about TimeXtender's Discovery Hub® here.

Download report


          Data preparation benefits.png