In just three short years, self-service data preparation has gone from a nascent concept into what one IT analyst firm called the “Next Big Market Disruption” at their recent BI and Analytics conference.

Benefits to Data Preparation Adopters Are Significant

A myriad of benefits are driving this accelerated adoption.  On the business side, these include far more insights, sooner, which lead to positive and significant business outcomes. On the IT side, data preparation greatly expands data integration capacity by adding a new workforce (business analysts) and a new “Mode 2” exploratory data integration approach that complements “Mode 1” Operational IT.   I recently blogged on this win-win for business and IT.

Analyst Firms Recognize and Advance the Trend  

With a close ear to both the user and vendor communities, analyst firms have gathered an assortment of data on self-service data preparation.  Based on these inputs, historical insights, future projections and more, these firms are now publishing seminal research reports across a range of perspectives.

To give you a sense of the what analysts are saying about data preparation, I recently did a search on several firms’ sites.  In 2016 alone, nearly 20 Gartner analysts have contributed to 41 research reports covering various aspects of data preparation.  Forrester Research is prolific as well with a dozen analysts contributing 19 research reports.

Other firms have chosen to aggregate a variety of insights into more comprehensive summary reports.  IDC’s Self-Service Data Preparation Market Supply and Bloor Research’s Self-Service Data Preparation are examples.  Gartner’s summary is captured in Forecast Snapshot: Self-Service Data Preparation, Worldwide, 2016 and Forrester’s in Vendor Landscape: Data Preparation Tools.

Many Lenses on Data Preparation

Some of the reports address data preparation from the BI and analytics point of view. Forrester’s Build An Agile BI Organization and Optimize Your BI Strategy To Generate Maximum Business Value as well as Gartner’s Select the Right Architecture Model for Your Modern BI and Analytics Platform and Solution Path: Implementing Big Data for Analytics provide this lens.

The analysts also speak to IT-specific audiences and concerns.  Gartner addresses IT’s governance and architecture teams with Embrace Self-Service Data Preparation Tools for Agility, but Govern to Avoid Data Chaos and Comparing Three Self-Service Integration Architectures.  Forrester targets IT strategists with Want To Drive Actionable Insights? Refuel Your Data Management Engine Today and Optimize Your BI Strategy To Generate Maximum Business Value.

Developing Your Own Point of View

IT analyst firms have done us all a good service with their published research.  If you have a subscription, then take advantage.

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But there are many other paths to data preparation insight. Vendors such as Cisco have also done a good job providing multiple learning options.  Check out our Intro to Data Preparation video on Cisco Data Preparation’s homepage.



Bob Eve

No Longer with Cisco