Improving the use of data and analytics is a top strategic priority for many companies. But organizations face major challenges ramping up their information management capabilities — in particular due to the combination of a brutal proliferation of new or enhanced technologies, emerging data sources, and difficulty in finding skilled people with the appropriate experience. As a result, companies are increasingly looking to service providers for help.
My colleague Gene Leganza and I have therefore published two reports to help technology professionals navigate the data services market, with a particular focus on data management services (Data Management Services: Spending Trends For 2014 and Best Practices For Engaging Data Service Providers). These reports highlight both the rapid growth we expect to see in the market as well as best practices for engaging with service providers.
Please note that we use the term “data services” to refer to broader engagements (including data delivery, analysis, management, or governance-related services), while “data management services” form a smaller subset of services relating to finding, collecting, migrating, and integrating data.
Here are three of the key findings from our research:
  • More than two-thirds of organizations expect their spending on data management services to increase; 41% stated they expect spending to increase 5% to 10% in the next 12 months.
  • Demand for improved quality is the No. 1 reason organizations look to data management service providers.
  • The most frequently stated area for the use of third parties was in the emerging technology services segment, particularly around big data and analytics — 69% of respondents stated they currently use or will use a service provider.

Clients can find more details and our best practices by reading these reports. Let us know what you think: Do these findings concur with your priorities for 2014? Are you looking to work with service providers for your data initiatives?