State of Data: The DNA of Today’s Data Innovators and What Other Organizations Can Learn from their Success

Learn what Hakkoda’s State of Data 2024 report has to say about organizations with the highest level of data maturity—and what less mature businesses can do to close their data achievement gaps.
February 16, 2024
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Hakkoda’s State of Data 2024 report has a lot to say about how organizations measured up to their data goals last year. By assessing businesses across five transformational capabilities and four stages of maturity (Chaos, Order, Insight, and Innovation), the report also reveals a great deal about the differences in data strategies and outcomes between the highest and lowest performers. 

On the one hand, the State of Data is a rallying cry for organizations still mired in a state of data chaos—many of whom, it reveals, don’t even realize they are in a state of chaos.

On the other hand, the report also provides a detailed portrait of what a data-mature business actually looks like and what data practices these businesses tend to have in common.

In this blog, we will focus on five major trends among data innovators, unpacking some of the winning data strategies that have set them up for success.

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1. Many Innovators Have Already Centralized their Data on a Primary Cloud Platform

One major takeaway from the State of Data report is that data modernization is still very much underway, with only 29% of all organizations centralizing their data on a primary cloud platform in 2023. 

The most data-mature organizations, however, were significantly more likely to have achieved this modernization benchmark, with 47% of Innovation organizations centralized on a primary cloud platform as compared to just 5% of Chaos organizations.

Rates of modernization are expected to skyrocket in 2024, meanwhile, with 74% of all organizations reporting that they expect to have their data centralized on a primary cloud platform by the year’s end. This means even more data-mature organizations will be leveraging cloud data strategies this year, leading the charge as centralizing in the cloud becomes more and more the norm.

2. Innovators are Already Implementing GenAI

With 42% of all organizations polled already using some form of GenAI tooling in 2023, and with 85% indicating their intention to use GenAI by the end of this year, it is clear that artificial intelligence will play a critical role across data-driven industries in the months ahead.  

Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, organizations at different levels of data maturity vary drastically in terms of their readiness to implement AI tools and technologies. 95% of Innovation organizations moderately or strongly agree that they have defined GenAI use cases ready for implementation. This number drops to just 43% of Chaos organizations. 

Data innovators are also significantly more likely to already be using AI for important use cases like automation and data cleaning. 63% of Innovation organizations used GenAI tools to automate and 69% used GenAI for data cleaning in 2023, versus just 37% and 28% of Chaos organizations, respectively.

3. Innovators are Leading the Pack in Data Monetization

Overall rates of data monetization were relatively low in 2023, with just 24% of all organizations monetizing their data. With nearly two-thirds of organizations indicating the intent to monetize in 2024, however, that number is expected to grow considerably. 

Top performers, meanwhile, are significantly more likely to already be taking advantage of data monetization, with 44% of Innovation organizations and 29% of organizations with $1Billion+ in revenue indicating that they were already monetizing in some capacity. 

These numbers were much lower in less mature and lower grossing businesses, with Chaos organizations only reporting monetization 5% of the time and organizations with under $500M in revenue at 17%.

4. Innovators are Outsourcing Their Data Management

Perhaps one of the report’s most surprising findings is that data mature organizations were actually more likely to outsource their data management needs to Managed Services Providers, Systems Providers, Systems Integrators, and IT consultants than their less-mature counterparts. 

Innovation organizations reported outsourcing 63% of their data on average in 2023, while Chaos organizations reportedly outsourced just 39% of their data.

That rift looks likely to widen in 2024. 42% of Innovation organizations signal that they will need a “moderate” to “large” amount of outside help in modernizing their data stack in 2024. Shockingly, just 6% of Chaos Organizations think they will need the same.

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5. Innovators Are Seeing Greater Returns on their Data Stack Investments

Now that we’ve hit on some of the strategies, initiatives, and best practices that have allowed data innovators to gain the upper hand in their respective industries, let’s talk about how these innovations relate back to the bottom line.

Achieving more of their data goals, data-mature organizations are also getting more value out of their data, with Innovation organizations reporting an average ROI of 164% for their data tech investments, as compared to an average ROI of just 73% among Chaos organizations. 

Higher rates of data outsourcing, more prevalent in data-mature businesses, also correlated with stronger returns on investment. $1Billion-to-$9.9Billion organizations, who reportedly outsourced 57% of their data, also reported 153% ROI on data tech investments. >$500M organizations, who outsourced 45% of their data, meanwhile reported a much lower return of 84%.

Charting Your Data Innovation Journey with Hakkōda

Hakkoda’s State of Data 2024 paints a clear picture of what an innovative data strategy and technology stack looks like. 

With nearly every organization surveyed saying they will need to modernize their data stack this year, this portrait also doubles as a benchmark against which businesses can begin to evaluate their data goals and strategize about how to achieve them.

If you’re chomping at the bit to start your Data Innovation Journey but don’t know where to begin, Hakkoda’s cloud data and Gen AI consulting services can help. Our teams combine deep industry experience with expertise across the modern data stack to help our customers streamline data transformations and future-proof their data strategies.

Ready to join the ranks of data innovators in your field? See what other insights the State of Data has for your organization by reading the full report

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