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Incorta, a US data analytics company, conducted a survey to learn what business leaders in the MENA region are saying about the current state of data analytics, and what they think the future will hold.

About 153 business leaders in 11 industries from Egypt and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) took part in the survey, representing the sectors of education, healthcare, retail, banking, manufacturing, holding companies, and telecommunications.

The survey targeted exploring the data infrastructure of different enterprises and the tools being used and how effective they are.

The survey showed about 30% of the respondents said that their enterprises do not still have the basic data analytics infrastructure. Meanwhile, 25% of the business leaders assessed the status of their data infrastructure 2 out of 5, a matter which indicates the low satisfaction of the business leaders about the current state of the data analytics infrastructure.

According to the survey, around 42% of the participants said their companies have no Business Intelligence tools because these tools are not widely adopted in the region. Also, almost half of the business leaders noted that their companies' departments use different analytical tools. In addition, about 66% of the surveyed leaders stressed their plans to invest more in data analytics this year, a matter which showcases a massive appetite for investing in this sector.

The survey revealed that nearly 30% of the participants expressed that they were unsatisfied with the way data analytics tools integrated with the rest of their systems. "60% of surveyed businesses host their data solution on-premises, while 40% said they used a cloud-hosted solution," the survey said.

It also showed that 47% of the business leaders have to depend on the technical teams to manage any data solution issue, in addition, 74% of the companies have an in-house team versus outsourced.

Moreover, the survey clarified the top data analytics trends in the coming period, which are automation of query processing and analysis, self-services, and machine learning. It determined the top goals which push investments in data analytics forward in the next 12 months, such as improving the decision-making process, improving the employees' productivity, changing the way of organizing operations, and reducing time to market new products and services.

"Majority of the surveyed companies reported that they use 40% to 80% of their data. Only 6% reported that they use above 80% of their data."

The survey set the biggest data analytical challenges that the organizations face, including the lack of data integration, lack of technical expertise, and IT budget constraints.