Commercial AI Adoption is Picking Up Pace But Only A Third of Businesses Recognise that Data Strategy Facilitates AI

Most businesses (90%) now use or plan to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and even more (98%) have, or intend to, implement a data strategy. Yet new findings suggest that – while the success of each is reliant on the other – only one in three (35%) businesses with a data strategy say it includes provisions for Artificial Intelligence (AI). Decision Intelligence company Peak, released its State of AI, 2022 report, highlighting that many businesses are making investments in both data and AI without connecting the two.

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“AI is inherently a data technology, and must function as part of an overarching data strategy, yet the majority of respondents in this survey are thinking about the two separately,” said Richard Potter, co-founder and CEO of Peak.

The amount of data businesses produce is increasing exponentially and current predictions suggest businesses globally will create, capture, copy and consume 97 zettabytes of data this year alone.1 Implementing a data strategy is essential for defining how to collect, store and put that data to use.

Peak’s State of AI report suggests that effectively leveraging their data is a priority for many businesses. One in two (52%) organizations with 100 or more employees now have a Chief Data Officer, and 86% have invested in a data lake or warehouse. Still, two-thirds (65%) of those with a data strategy have not made provisions for AI. Instead, data strategies are most likely to be focused on centralizing data within the business (55%), although establishing measurable goals for the use of data (54%) and managing security risks and compliance (53%) are similarly important goals.

The report also uncovered inconsistencies among leadership teams on data strategy. While 89% of CEOs said their company had a data strategy, only 63% of wider c-suite executives agreed.

This disconnect extends to perceptions of AI as well. Of the respondents in businesses that have or are working towards AI, 55% of CEOs thought the technology was being implemented throughout the business, compared to just 42% of other c-suite leaders.

“Our research also reveals that within many companies there is a lack of clarity around the overall AI strategy, even at the top levels of management,” said Richard Potter. “If businesses want to successfully implement AI and, critically, drive value with this technology, we need open discussion within a business to ensure everyone is aligned to and understands the vision.”

The report also provides a look at the regional differences in attitudes and progress being made in digital transformation, data maturity and AI adoption, with India more advanced than both the US and UK.

  • India is the most digitally ready country, with 52% of decision makers recognising high levels of digital transformation within their industries, compared to 36% in both the US and UK.
  • 75% of respondents in the US and 78% in India agree that their business is data driven, whilst this share drops to 58% in the UK.
  • Although Indian firms have more frequently attempted digital transformation, US firms had a slightly higher success rate.

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