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New Confluent Global Report Finds Data Streaming Accelerates AI Development and Cuts Costs

Confluent survey: 90% of respondents say data streaming platforms can lead to more product and service innovation in AI and ML development

86% of respondents cite data streaming as a strategic or important priority for IT investments in 2024

For 91% of respondents, data streaming platforms are critical or important for achieving data-related goals

Confluent, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFLT), the data streaming pioneer, unveiled its 2024 Data Streaming Report: Breaking Down the Barriers to Business Agility & Innovation. The report dives into how organizations use data streaming to innovate, accelerate AI adoption, improve business agility, power customer experiences, and overcome data accessibility and management challenges. Based on a survey of 4,110 IT leaders across 12 countries, the report shows the pivotal role data streaming plays in helping businesses maximize the full potential of their data.

Responsiveness is the key to success in today’s dynamic business landscape - slow, inconsistent, outdated, or ungoverned data is detrimental to success because it’s unreliable and can lead to bad decision-making. It's imperative to leverage continuously streaming data to discover customer learnings, improve business operations, and find insights so organizations can act efficiently and quickly. In fact, 86% of respondents cite data streaming as a strategic or important priority in IT investments this year.

“Many organizations have data siloed away in different systems and applications, making it impossible to find and benefit from one of their most critical business assets - their data,” said Shaun Clowes, Chief Product Officer at Confluent. “Data streaming acts as the central nervous system for businesses by connecting systems and applications so real-time data can be easily accessed for decision making and improving business processes and customer experiences.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

Data Streaming Platforms Power Faster AI Adoption

GenAI is top of mind for many companies, but for AI models to generate accurate and relevant results, the data must be trustworthy, in the right format, and as real-time as possible. Retrieval augmented generation (RAG) has emerged as a common pattern for building GenAI-enabled applications by connecting general-purpose LLM models to domain-specific data while allowing granular access controls and minimizing hallucinations. Data streaming enriches RAG-enabled workloads with trustworthy and contextual data by tapping into a continuous stream of real-time data from systems that power the business. Data streaming can efficiently transform data into the right format to be used by vector databases for AI applications.

  • 74% state investments in GenAI will trend up in the coming two years.
  • 63% cite data streaming platforms extensively or significantly fuel AI progress by building the real-time data foundation needed to propel these initiatives.
  • 90% note data streaming platforms keep track of data fed into models for governance purposes.

Data Streaming Simplifies the Development of Data Products and Encourages Reusability and Cost Savings

As organizations look to broaden and simplify data access and reusability, more are thinking about organizing their data into data products. Data products are live, refined, fully governed, and ready-to-use data assets that are instantly discoverable, contextualized, trustworthy, and reusable for many use cases. Data products allow organizations to reuse data across a variety of use cases to save costs and time.

  • 91% of IT leaders are investing in data streaming platforms to drive their data goals, which include data product creation.
  • 72% cite significant benefits from embracing a data product approach.
  • Notable benefits of data products are:
    • 98% cite data products as compelling or worthwhile in enabling more confident data sharing across business units.
    • 91% note more meaningful cost allocation or charging based on usage metrics.
    • 90% state more robust risk management.

Data Streaming Platforms Prevent Data Silos and Solve Data Accessibility Challenges

Tackling data access and management challenges head-on is crucial for businesses to maximize success in a data-driven world. The 2024 Data Streaming Report shows that data streaming platforms help organizations address many data accessibility challenges, including uncovering siloed data, that hinder real-time, data-driven operations. As the central nervous system for businesses, data streaming platforms connect applications and systems to ensure data is available in real-time, everywhere it’s needed. This allows companies to focus on accelerating innovation instead of navigating the maze of point-to-point connections.

  • 76% of IT leaders cite five or more data-related challenges impacting their organizations, including siloed data and governance-related problems.
  • The most common problems data streaming can solve include:
    • 93% say data streaming helps break down data silos in most or many situations
    • 88% note data streaming helps to access existing data
    • 86% cite data streaming helps discover existing data
    • 84% state data streaming helps address governance-related problems

Data Streaming Delivers Significant Benefits for Business Investments

As businesses learn to do more with less, proving the ROI of tech investments has become even more critical. This report shows that data streaming pays off across every industry and that organizations of all sizes are achieving value, despite limited resources.

  • 84% of IT leaders cite 2x to 10x return on data streaming investments.
  • 95% stated that data streaming improved or is expected to improve cybersecurity and data-driven operations.
  • 90% improved or expected to improve product and service innovation when using AI/ML.

Learn More About the Report

This report was based on a survey from Freeform Dynamics and Radma Research with responses from 4,110 IT leaders familiar with data streaming from companies with 500 or more employees. These respondents are from 12 different countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The respondents work in a variety of industries, including technology, financial services, government/public sector, manufacturing, healthcare, media/entertainment, non-profit, professional services, research/education, retail, transportation/logistics, travel/hospitality, and utilities/telecom.

Additional Resources:

About Confluent

Confluent is the data streaming platform that is pioneering a fundamentally new category of data infrastructure that sets data in motion. Confluent’s cloud-native offering is the foundational platform for data in motion—designed to be the intelligent connective tissue enabling real-time data, from multiple sources, to constantly stream across the organization. With Confluent, organizations can meet the new business imperative of delivering rich, digital front-end customer experiences and transitioning to sophisticated, real-time, software-driven back-end operations. To learn more, please visit

Confluent and associated marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Confluent, Inc.


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