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66% of Aussie organisations suffer from data and AI bias
Fri, 14th Apr 2023

A new report has revealed 66% of Australian organisations suffer from data and AI bias, and a lack of awareness and understanding of potential biases is a main barrier.

Progress has announced the results of its global survey, Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI. Conducted by independent research firm, Insight Avenue, the Progress survey is based on interviews with more than 640 business and IT professionals, director level and above (including 200 across APAC and Australia), who use data to make decisions and are using or plan to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support their decision making.

Biases are often inherited by cultural and personal experiences. When data is collected and used in the training of machine learning models, the models inherit the bias of the people building them, producing unexpected and potentially harmful outcomes. Yet, despite the potential legal and financial pitfalls associated with data bias, there is a lack of understanding around the training, processes and technology needed to tackle data bias successfully.

The Progress survey indicated that 86% of Australian business and IT decision makers believe data bias will become a bigger concern as AI/ML use increases (higher than the 78% respondents globally), yet over a third (34%) have not looked at technology and tools to help in tackling data bias. The biggest barriers they see are lack of awareness of potential biases, understanding how to identify bias as well as the lack of available expert resources, such as having access to data scientists.

The survey findings also show:

  • 62% of Australian organisations anticipate becoming more reliant on AI/ML decision making, in the coming years.
  • 66% believe there is currently data bias in their organisation.
  • 84% believe they need to be doing more to understand and address data bias in their organisation, higher than any other countries surveyed

Amongst the top five causes that Australian respondents consider being the main barriers to addressing potential data bias in their organisation are:

  • Lack of awareness and understanding of potential biases (62%)
  • Lack of understanding of how to best identify data bias (50%)
  • Lack of understanding of how to best avoid or address data bias (48%)
  • Lack of ownership/responsibility (42%)
  • Lack of tools for identifying and mitigating data bias (34%)

"Every day, bias can negatively impact business operations and decision making from governance and lost customer trust to financial implications and potential legal and ethical exposure," says John Ainsworth, EVP and General Manager, Application and Data Platform, Progress. 

"We put our customers at the centre of everything we do and as we explore all that AI/ML can do, we want to ensure our customers are armed with the right information to make the best decisions to drive their business forward," he says.

Commissioned by Progress, the survey, Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI, was conducted by Insight Avenue, a UK-based research firm, specialising in business-to-business technology research. Results are based on interviews with business and IT professionals located across the Americas, Europe and Asia, focused on the use of data in decision making. These professionals come from organisations with over 500 employees to better understand the overall awareness of data bias, how it was impacting businesses and what companies were doing to address it. To view the full findings, go to