Insights on the State of Data and AI in Leading Companies 2024
As we step into 2024, the landscape of data and artificial intelligence (AI) is undergoing a seismic shift. The recently conducted Data and AI Leadership Executive Survey by Wavestone sheds light on the state of data and AI in leading companies. With a foreword by Randy Bean and Thomas H. Davenport, the survey captures the essence of the transformative journey organizations are undertaking.
The Data Evolution
The survey begins by highlighting the exponential growth of data. DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman reveals that a staggering eighteen million gigabytes of data are added globally every minute. This influx is propelling AI to new heights, enabling computations in seconds that would have taken traditional computers millennia. Venture investor Vinod Khosla predicts that AI could replace 80% of jobs within the next two decades.
Investments in Data and Analytics
Despite challenges, leading companies continue to prioritize investments in data and analytics. An impressive 82.2% of CDOs and data/AI leaders state that their organizations are increasing investments in this area. The focus on delivering measurable business value is evident, with 87.0% reporting success in this endeavor. However, the survey prompts us to explore why the remaining 12.1% are not fully embracing data and analytics, signaling an opportunity for growth.
Generative AI: A Transformational Force
The emergence of Generative AI marks a pivotal moment in the survey. While still in its early stages, 62.3% of participants view Generative AI as a top organizational priority, with 64.2% believing it has the potential to be the most transformative technology in a generation. This optimism is reflected in the 89.6% of organizations increasing their investment in Generative AI.
The Evolution of Chief Data/Analytics Officers (CDOs/CDAO) and the Role in Generative AI
The role of Chief Data Officer (CDO) has seen remarkable growth. From just 12% adoption in 2012, the survey reports that 83.2% of organizations now have a CDO or Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDAO). However, the survey highlights a challenging reality – CDO tenures are short, with many lasting less than 2.5 years. The position remains in flux, mirroring the broader struggle of organizations to become truly data-driven.
As Generative AI gains prominence, the survey reveals that 61.7% of organizations consider it part of the CDO/CDAO mandate. Furthermore, a significant majority (79.4%) advocate that responsibility for Generative AI should reside within the CDO/CDAO function. The role is evolving rapidly, and the survey predicts continued transformations in the CDO/CDAO landscape.
Cultural Shifts and Challenges
As organizations acknowledge the imperative of integrating data and AI into conventional business processes, fostering a robust data-driven culture becomes paramount. The survey underscores significant strides made in the past five years, with companies increasingly leveraging data for innovation and engaging in competitive data and analytics practices. However, the primary hurdle lies in achieving cultural and organizational alignment, emphasizing the human and procedural dimensions over technological constraints.
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Data and AI Safeguards
While companies embrace the power of data and AI, the survey underscores the importance of safeguards and governance. A majority (73.8%) of organizations consider data and AI ethics a top corporate priority. However, there is acknowledgment that much more needs to be done in ensuring responsible and ethical use of these technologies.
The 2024 Data and AI Leadership Executive Survey paints a comprehensive picture of the ever-changing landscape that organizations navigate. In the evolving realms of data and AI, leaders encounter both challenges and opportunities that necessitate strategic foresight, adaptability, and a steadfast commitment to ethical practices. This survey not only captures the current state but also paves the way for continuous exploration, providing invaluable insights for organizations navigating the digital transformation era.
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