Nearly 40 percent of data professionals spend half of their time prepping data rather than analyzing it, according to a study by the Digital Analytics Association, an organization of analytics professionals, and TMMData, a provider of a data integration platform.

DAA surveyed more than 800 of its community members online in June and July about data priorities and challenges. The survey showed that data access, quality and integration present persistent, inter-related roadblocks to efficient and confident analysis across industries.

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Most notably, 38 percent of data professionals spend more than 20 hours per week accessing, blending and preparing data rather than performing actual analysis. An even higher percentage of managers (44 percent) said 51 percent or more of their team’s work week is spent collecting, integrating and preparing data rather than analyzing it, while 31 percent of analysts said they spend 21 or more hours a week on data housekeeping.

Many data professionals struggle with data access, with 43 percent of respondents citing that as one of their top two analytics challenges. Nearly three in five respondents (57 percent) said it takes days or weeks to access all the data they need, and 10 percent said they can rarely or never access a complete range of data sources.

Only one third of data professionals are immediately able to access all their data, or can get it in less than a day.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.