Here’s what we know: You have a mandate to upgrade your compliance technology, at least some budget to do it, and sky-high expectations for improved operational efficiency and robust data reporting.

At least that’s what the results of our compliance technology survey tell us. Are we close?

Over the course of a month, we polled 118 compliance professionals who have some level of involvement in the technology decision-making process at their organizations. The results helped inform the advice and expert analysis in our “Practical guide to compliance technology” special report in the pages of the upcoming September/October issue of the magazine and the content on our Website over the past few weeks.

How do you make sure you end up with the right technology for your needs? How do you better use the piles of data you’re accumulating to demonstrate ROI? What skills will you need 3, 5, 10 years from now as a result of the rapid advances in technology?

Before jumping too far ahead for answers, take a few minutes to benchmark your challenges against those of your peers:

Lots of you are shopping around. Exactly 50 percent of our survey respondents said they were currently evaluating options for an upgrade of their compliance technology, with another 18.6 percent in the middle of implementing new software. Just 13.6 percent indicated they weren’t considering a technological change.

With new technology, of course, comes new costs—something many seem armed to handle. About 50 percent of those surveyed said their budget for technology was larger than it was three years ago, with just 10 percent indicating they had less money to spend.

New costs have to be justified. About 30 percent of those who answered our survey said demonstrating a return on investment for new technology was the most difficult thing about implementing new software.

Compliance analytics is having a moment. About 82 percent of those polled want to learn more about compliance analytics, more than any other topic in our survey, and almost 40 percent are looking at implementing a data analytics software solution. Why are so many interested in wrangling with Big Data? Two-thirds of respondents are facing increased expectations for compliance-related analytics from senior management.

Automation is among the top goals.“Process efficiency” and “replacing manual process” were the top two answers to a question about the problems compliance practitioners were trying to solve with technology. When asked about the most effective argument in making the case for a technology investment, “process efficiency” was again the top answer.

Implementing change without rocking the boat. “Ease of use” was the most popular answer to our question about the most important considerations when choosing new technology. Managing any change can be tough, but it can be especially difficult with new technology tools. Nearly 35 percent of those polled indicated “getting staff to buy in” was the most difficult part of implementing a new software solution.