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AI readiness comes down to data readiness, MIT Technology Review Insights report shows

64 percent of surveyed C-suite and technology leaders rank data integration and data readiness as their top investment priority for AI and generative AI

29 May 2024 – Fivetran, the global leader in data movement, today announced a new report, ‘AI readiness for C-suite leaders,’ in partnership with MIT Technology Review Insights. The report draws on a global survey of 300 C-suite executives and senior technology leaders across 11 industries, including financial services, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and government. Over half of the respondents (53 percent) are from organisations with revenues of $1 billion or more. The study also highlights in-depth interviews with leading experts from Saks, Honeywell, International Data Corporation (IDC) and Fivetran.

The study found that C-suite leaders consider data integration, secure access to all data sources and the ability to share and combine data from every type of data source – including SaaS applications, legacy databases and custom applications – critical investment areas for leveraging AI and generative AI technologies. This prioritisation underscores the critical role of robust data strategies in unlocking the full potential of AI and GenAI for business innovation and efficiency.

Key findings from the MIT Technology Review Insights report include:

• Data integration tops the list of priorities for AI and GenAI readiness: An overwhelming 82 percent of surveyed leaders affirm that scaling AI or generative AI to create business value is a top organisational priority, with 45 percent citing data integration and pipelines as their primary challenge.

• Executives are laser-focused on data management challenges — and lasting solutions: Among survey respondents, 83 percent say that their “organisation has identified numerous sources of data that we must bring together in order to enable our AI initiatives.”

• Security and data governance are top concerns for regulated sectors: Security and data governance are identified as major challenges by leaders, particularly in highly regulated sectors, underscoring the importance of secure and compliant data practices at the outset of AI projects.

“Data integration isn’t just a technical challenge – it’s a strategic imperative that underpins all successful AI initiatives,” said George Fraser, CEO of Fivetran. “This report validates our mission to empower organisations with data movement capabilities that are not only efficient but also scalable and secure. As AI technologies continue to evolve, the ability to integrate and manage data effectively will distinguish industry leaders from the rest.”

Fivetran is committed to helping customers overcome their data challenges and build the best data platform for their business. Fivetran has helped thousands of businesses like Saks, Honeywell, and HubSpot securely move, combine and share data to help unlock innovation, improve customer experiences and deliver business value.