While companies recognize the need for processing and gaining insights from data, few are actually able to do so quickly, according to a Wednesday report from Streamlio and Dimensional Research. Of the 307 enterprise decision makers surveyed in the report, 99% said processing and acting on data as fast as possible was “critical,” but more than 80% said they need to do this more quickly. Nearly three-quarters said they still rely primarily on antiquated batch data processing, the report found.

Even industries known for rapidly making data-driven decisions reported a need to work faster: 95% of financial services decision makers and 86% of technology companies said they want to act more quickly on their information, according to the report.

“Despite companies recognizing the need to process data immediately, there are still major barriers to doing so, with most still acting on information in batch the same way they did since the 1960s,” Lewis Kaneshiro, CEO and co-founder of Streamlio, said in a press release. “There’s near universal recognition that speed is critical to business success. However, companies are struggling mightily with the demands of new initiatives to enable immediate reactions to customers, markets and systems by using machine learning, artificial intelligence, the cloud, microservices, and more.”

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More than three quarters of companies surveyed said they track how quickly they can act on data, with larger companies more likely to closely monitor the speed of data processing, the report found. Some 99% of respondents said their business has applications that would benefit from faster data processing, with top applications including business intelligence/reporting (60%), system and application monitoring (54%), security and fraud detection (52%), and customer interaction (51%).

The top benefits of speeding data processing and action named by respondents include increased efficiency (66%), enabling real-time customer interaction (60%), and responding to changing business and market dynamics (50%), according to the report.

Companies are increasingly turning to technology solutions to speed data processing, with more than 90% of those surveyed saying they are currently investing in technology to bridge the gap, the report found. More than 40% of decision makers said they are making “significant investments” in this area.

The top challenges to data adoption including difficulty making changes to existing solutions and infrastructure (53%), finding people with the required skills (48%), and scalability (45%).

“What became clear in our survey is that nearly every company recognizes how critical it is to put data to use faster and have current initiatives driving immediate demand for fast data,” Diane Hagglund, principal researcher at Dimensional Research, said in the release. “What also jumped out is the tangible business benefits from speeding up data processing, with more than half highlighting increased customer satisfaction and new business applications.”

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 99% of enterprise decision makers said processing and acting on data as fast as possible was critical. — Streamlio, 2018
  • Nearly 75% of decision makers said they still rely primarily on antiquated batch data processing. — Streamlio, 2018