data-driven decision-making report

Original Research: Business Intelligence is a $20B Market, Yet 80%+ Still Use Spreadsheets for Last-Mile Data Analysis

In 2020, the Business Intelligence (BI) Market was valued at over $20 billion.

These tools, including platforms like Looker and Tableau, offer charts, graphs, and other visualizations that “help people see and understand data” and promise “better outcomes through smarter data-driven experiences.”

In an era where data rules everything around us—yes, I’m somewhat referencing the Wu-Tang Clan song—it’s no surprise that these SaaS platforms have succeeded. Whether you’re data-naive or data-savvy, BI tools are among the most straightforward tools to leverage for data-driven insights. 

What is a surprise, however, is that over 80% of business users still leverage spreadsheets for last-mile analysis. You know, that “I almost know what this is telling me, but let me dump it into Sheets really quick to make sure” analysis.

data-driven decision-making report

We uncovered this finding and more in our Data-Driven Decision-Making Report, administered in early 2021. We surveyed over 4,000 business users from across an array of company sizes and industries.

Spreadsheets Still Take the Cake

If spreadsheets are your data comfort zone, you’re not alone. (We, too, love spreadsheets here at Kloudio… the bigger debate is usually whether one favors Excel or Google Sheets.)

Our research uncovered that 82% of professionals use spreadsheets to make sense of their data—despite having various tools at their disposal. In fact, 69% of those surveyed are most likely to use spreadsheets for analysis, even if they have access to a BI tool.

data-driven decision-making report

It’s clear that business users, especially those who don’t routinely work in SQL, Python, or R, prefer spreadsheets to prepare, analyze, and act on their data.

Only 11% of our respondents are able to fully analyze their data in BI tools. This is likely because BI tools have limitations on how you can move, organize, and view your data. At the end of the day, they’re not as flexible as spreadsheets (especially when you consider the plethora of Google Sheets add-ons and Excel add-ins at your disposal).

What’s Your Biggest Data Frustration?

Business users are also likely entrenched in their spreadsheets in an effort to preserve data accuracy and consistency—the top data challenge shared by over a quarter of our respondents, regardless of role, company size, or data access method. 

data-driven decision-making report

If you were tasked with discovering new and important insights in your company data, wouldn’t you use the tool with which you’re most comfortable? For many, that’s spreadsheets.

The truth is, while business intelligence tools may aid with access, they don’t always do so with analysis. This is because these tools are designed for visualization and reporting, not analysis. Data engineers are typically tasked with data preparation and analysis—which doesn’t help business users who need to be able to navigate the data on their own. 

With the number of business data tools available today, data access isn’t the issue. But once you have the data, could you confidently say you know what to do with it? Could you derive insights from it—without the help of your data teams?

Getting Over the Data Roadblock

While data is more readily available than ever before, there’s still a roadblock to how business users can independently prepare, analyze, and act on their data.

This is where Kloudio is poised to help. Kloudio takes care of your data preparation so you can focus on making decisions—it was designed to democratize data access and remove data teams from the middle of your data stack

By connecting to your favorite spreadsheet tool (should it be Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel), Kloudio puts the power in the hands of those who need it to make the data-driven decisions—whether in Finance, Marketing, Sales, or elsewhere in your company.

See how Kloudio powers data-driven decision-making. Download our 2021 Data-Driven Decision-Making Report to learn more.

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