KNIME and ESG’s collaborative survey unveils trends in data science and AI


  • KNIME and ESG collaborate on a comprehensive survey about data science and machine learning.
  • Challenges include integrating ML models, handling complex data, and bridging skill gaps.
  • Standardized approaches in ML development are gaining importance.
  • The survey involved 366 professionals from the US and Canada.
  • Key findings: shortage of skilled talent, integration issues, budget constraints.
  • Primary business objectives include improving operational efficiency, innovation, and customer experience.
  • 92% of organizations are increasing budgets for data science and machine learning.
  • Purchases prioritize integration, ease of deployment, and open-source compatibility.
  • Non-data stakeholders play a vital role in the data science lifecycle.
  • Employees seek data science skills for career advancement, industry relevance, and job security.

Main AI News:

 In collaboration with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), KNIME, a leading data science company committed to democratizing analytics, has released a groundbreaking survey that sheds light on the ever-evolving landscape of data science and machine learning. ESG, renowned for its prowess in research, validation, and strategic insights, has provided invaluable market intelligence for this endeavor. The survey presents a holistic view of how organizations are prioritizing, investing in, and operationalizing data science, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). Furthermore, it delves into the intricate challenges faced during the data science journey and provides insights on effective strategies to overcome them.

One of the pivotal hurdles organizations are grappling with revolves around machine learning projects. For instance, integrating machine learning models seamlessly into the software development lifecycle has proven to be a formidable challenge. Managing extensive and intricate datasets, handling specialized hardware, bridging the gap between diverse skill sets, and ensuring the availability, scalability, and security of ML models in production collectively pose considerable obstacles.

These challenges underscore the critical importance of establishing well-defined data science and machine learning strategies. A growing number of organizations are realizing the significance of adopting a standardized and structured approach to the development, deployment, and maintenance of ML models.

To glean deeper insights into these evolving trends, ESG conducted a survey involving 366 professionals from various organizations across the United States and Canada. These professionals are actively engaged in data science and machine learning, encompassing activities ranging from strategic planning to the actual implementation and management of these technologies.

The primary objective of this study was to discern investment plans, objectives, and challenges in the realm of data science and machine learning. This encompassed evaluating the current state of operationalizing AI through MLOps and identifying the solutions that organizations prioritize to ensure their success.

Here, we present key findings from this comprehensive data science and machine learning survey:

Overcoming Substantial Hurdles A significant proportion of organizations (27 percent) point to a dearth of skilled talent as a major impediment to the development and execution of data science projects. Other notable challenges include inadequate integration with existing systems (25 percent) and constraints related to budget and resources (23 percent).

Approximately 35 percent of companies grapple with the complexity of managing multiple environments for ML technologies. Additional challenges in the ML sphere include ensuring compliance with corporate governance policies (33 percent) and effectively detecting and responding to data drift (33 percent).

Inward-Focused Business Objectives Organizations continue to prioritize enhancing operational efficiency, recognizing that optimizing operations serves as a crucial foundation for sustainable growth in an increasingly data-driven business landscape. Survey results reveal that primary business objectives driving data science and machine learning initiatives include improving operational efficiency (66 percent), enhancing product development and fostering innovation (60 percent), and elevating the customer experience while bolstering customer satisfaction (52 percent).

Budgetary Ascendancy A staggering 92 percent of organizations have witnessed year-to-year increments in budget allocations for data science and machine learning. Nearly one in four companies plan to invest a minimum of $1 million in technology, processes, or personnel associated with data science and machine learning. This upsurge in budgets underscores the realization that data science not only enhances operational efficiency but also empowers predictive analytics, informed decision-making, and innovative product development.

Sharper Focus on the Data Science Lifecycle Key considerations for purchases supporting data science initiatives revolve around integration with existing systems (34 percent) and the ease of implementation and deployment (33 percent). Simplifying the implementation and deployment process underscores the imperative to expedite the transition from data generation to actionable insights.

Approximately 26 percent of organizations emphasize compatibility with open-source technologies when making purchases to support data science initiatives, possibly foretelling a broader trend of open-source deployments in the future.

Stakeholder Engagement Across the Data Science Journey Survey results emphasize the pivotal role played by non-data stakeholders throughout the data science lifecycle, encompassing data collection to model management. An overwhelming 92 percent of respondents view the involvement of non-data science professionals, such as business stakeholders, in data science initiatives and collaboration with data science teams as highly positive.

The survey also shines a light on the driving forces behind employees’ pursuit of enhanced skills in data science and machine learning. The top three motivators include career advancement opportunities (52 percent), staying abreast of industry demands (50 percent), and job security (45 percent).


The survey findings shed light on the evolving landscape of data science and machine learning. These insights signify a growing recognition of the value these technologies bring to businesses, driving increased budget allocations and a focus on enhancing operational efficiency. Moreover, the active involvement of non-data stakeholders highlights a collaborative approach to harnessing data’s potential. As organizations continue to invest and adapt, the market can expect a surge in innovative solutions and a more data-centric approach to business strategies, ultimately leading to sustained growth and competitiveness.