Survey Says: Data Analytics Plagued with Inefficiencies

Data analysts only spend half their time doing analysis; 68 percent have profit-driving ideas but little time to implement

OAKLAND, Calif.--()--While companies continue to invest in teams of data experts, a new survey suggests that adding more data analytics wizards might not be the solution. In fact, the survey found that during the course of a workday, data analysts spend less than half their time actually analyzing data. This surprising information is just one of the findings from a global survey of data professionals sponsored by Fivetran, an automated data integration provider. The company released the survey report today in conjunction with its inaugural Data Analyst Appreciation Day.

Conducted by Dimensional Research, the online survey of approximately 500 data professionals across five continents also shows 68 percent of the respondents have ideas that would drive more profit for their organizations but lack time to implement them. More than 60 percent of respondents reported wasting time waiting for engineering resources several times each month and often spending one-third of every workday just trying to access data. Nearly all respondents (90 percent) said their work was slowed by numerous unreliable data sources over the last 12 months.

The struggles data professionals face in simply doing their work and the time they waste is astounding,” said George Fraser, co-founder and CEO of Fivetran. “To keep critical analytics projects moving, these unsung heroes contend with numerous workarounds to compensate for unavailable engineering resources and unreliable data sources. Fivetran ready-to-use connectors help remove some of these bottlenecks and allow analysts to instead focus on uncovering insights.”

As enterprises strive to optimize decision-making in a rapidly evolving global economic landscape, the study indicates that enabling analysts to spend more time analyzing and less time finding, fixing and stabilizing data will drive better decisions and increased profits. Much of the problem lies in data integrity, quality and access — the top three challenges almost unanimously pointed to by the survey respondents.

Some other findings from the survey include:

  • 71 percent of companies plan to hire more data analysts within the next year
  • 74 percent of companies will grow business intelligence users in the same time period
  • At the same time, 86 percent struggle with working with out-of-date data
  • 41 percent report they had used data that was two months old or older
  • 60 percent deal with frequently changing data schemas
  • 92 percent state they often need to perform tasks outside their role

Fivetran is unveiling these survey findings during today’s Data Analyst Appreciation Day, a live virtual event that brings together data analysts from around the globe to discuss the challenges they face in their profession every day. For more information and to register for today’s event which begins at 9 AM PT, please visit Data Analyst Appreciation Day 2020.

For visual assets and a video of the survey findings, please visit here.

About Fivetran

Fivetran, the leader in automated data integration, delivers ready-to-use connectors that automatically adapt as schemas and APIs change, ensuring consistent, reliable access to data. Fivetran improves the accuracy of data-driven decisions by continuously synchronizing data from source applications to any destination, allowing analysts to work with the freshest possible data. To accelerate analytics, Fivetran enables in-warehouse transformations and delivers source-specific analytics templates. With more than 1,000 customers, Fivetran is headquartered in Oakland, California, with offices around the globe. For more information, visit


Ross Perich


Ross Perich