Big Data's Just A Buzz; Cos Go For Advanced Analytics
Business and technology leaders are keen to leverage various sources of information, but when it comes to adopt big data, most of them are still clueless. A recent survey of nearly 400 decision-makers published by Dell sees big data is still in its very early stage, while advanced analytics is what some industries are investing in.
In fact more than half of the CIOs indicated that their company is actively using or has plans to adopt some form of analytics in the coming year. For example, nearly half reported they use advanced analytics to evaluate their firm’s financial performance. Almost as many as 40 percent use the technology for jobs that involve customer recruitment, retention and loyalty programs, to name a few.
When it comes to big data, however, only 20 percent of the companies responding use advanced analytics associated with big data. In fact, one-third of the respondents strongly agree that big data can be leveraged to gain competitive advantage. Yet only half of the survey respondents have either implemented or are in the process of implementing big data solutions, citing lack of awareness as the biggest obstacles to the adoption of big data services.
Another global study released last year, by GE and Accenture reveals that despite the buzz, less than one-third (29 percent) executives surveyed are using big data across their company for predictive analytics or to optimize their business.
The study points out the various roadblocks to big data realization as cited by the respondents. More than one-third of the executives (36 percent) said system barriers between departments prevent collection and correlation of data. Twenty-nine percent said it is difficult to consolidate disparate data and to use the resulting data repository. Security also ranks high as a challenge with less than half (44 percent) reporting an end-to-end solution to defend against cyber-attacks and data leaks.
Research agency GfK too suggests that nearly 70% respondents said they do not have the necessary skills to understand the opportunities and challenges of big data, even though they believe it is very important for their business. More than two third believe their job profile has changed because of the evolution of big data in their organization, which has made their work-life difficult, it said.
The biggest challenge for companies is how - and how not - to include big data in their day to day decision making. They should have a sound understanding of data – both big and small and take gradual steps to reach their big data goals. Robert Plant, Associate Professor of computer information systems at the University of Miami School of Business Administration mentions in his blog that with the right orientation of both big and small data, executives can have the best chance of analyzing the right data sets.
“Companies would do better at satisfying and retaining customers if they spent less time worrying about big data and more time leveraging “small data” — already-available information from simple technology solutions — as well to become more flexible, informative, and helpful,” he mentions.
For all the buzz surrounding Big Data, it’s apparent that the industry has only reached the tip of the information iceberg, which leaves room for CIOs, vendors and partners to venture into this space. The best is clearly yet to come in data analytics, believe experts.
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