Business analytics professionals are confident in their organizations’ data analytics proficiency, but a new MicroStrategy report released on Wednesday reveals that they still face challenges that prevent them from becoming an entirely intelligent enterprise.

According to the report, data and analytics remain a top priority in 90% of organizations’ digital transformation strategies. Because of this, investments in data and analytics are expected to accelerate within the next five years, with 71% of respondents noting plans to spend more.

SEE: Big data policy (Tech Pro Research)

The report found that organizations are using their data and analytics to improve their core operations as well as transform their business models and their customer experiences. Some 63% of respondents noted that their organization’s analytics have improved efficiency and productivity, and 57% reported that their organizations experience faster and more effective decision making.

The push toward data analytics is leading organizations to hire additional data and analytics employees, with some 95% of respondents noting that their organizations plan to invest in hiring more personnel, according to the report.

Similarly, the report found that over half (57%) of the surveyed organizations had a Chief Data Officer (CDO). The role of a CDO is becoming increasingly needed when organizations have plans of democratising data and analytics across the organization.

The report noted that 84% of management teams have access to their organization’s data, but 48% of front-line employees did not. This hinders a group’s decision making abilities and can have a lasting effect on the bottom line, according to the report.

SEE: Tech budgets 2019: A CXO’s guide (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Despite confidence and optimism, the report noted that many organizations are still being held back by common data privacy and security concerns. Similarly, the report found that 33% reported a lack of data democratization, and 29% lacked training on how to make the most of the influx of data.

The report noted that many of the respondents saw cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning as trends that will have the most impact on analytics initiatives within the next five years.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • A MicroStrategy report revealed that 71% of organizations ar planning on increasing their data and analytics spending within the next five years.
  • Data privacy and security, the report found, are still the biggest hurdles for organizations to reach the full potential of an intelligent enterprise