More Businesses Now Confident On Big Data
Big data has seen a massive growth in interest over the past few years. In recent times more and more companies are also investing in this technology. A Gartner survey reveals that 73 percent of respondents have invested or plan to invest in big data in the next 24 months, up from 64 percent in 2013. The survey also indicates organizations are starting to get off the fence about their big data investment the number of organizations stating they had no plans for big data investment fell from 31 percent in 2013 to 24 percent in 2014.
The global survey which polled over 300 and focused on their big data plans, areas of adoption, and challenges revealed that like 2013, this year too, much of the work revolves around strategy development and the creation of pilots and experimental projects. However, this will soon change and organizations will deploy more big data projects.
“The difference however is, in 2013, only eight percent of organizations reported having big data projects deployed to production. This has increased to 13 percent in 2014, and while still relatively small, represents a sizeable increase,” Nick Heudecker, research director at Gartner.
But this itself is a landmark transition as it shows the organizations’ understanding and willingness to explore big data opportunities have matured extensively, he says.
Heudecker notes that while big data investment continues to be led by North America, with 47 percent of organizations reporting investment, up from 37.8 percent last year, every other region experienced increases in investment over the last year.
While big data can help address a wide range of business problems across many industries, the most dramatic changes are in enhancing customer experience, especially in transportation, healthcare, insurance, media and communications, retail, and banking. There is also an increase is using big data to develop information products, where organizations are looking to monetize their data, especially in the area of IT vendors, government and manufacturing, notes Gartner.
The research firm therefore sees strong and planned investments across all vertical industries with communications and media continuing to lead the pack with 53 percent of organizations surveyed having already invested and a further 33 percent planning investments in big data technology.
The other year-to-year changes in the survey findings are a function of the adoption stage. As organizations move beyond knowledge gathering and developing a strategy to making investments, piloting and deploying, the challenges they face become more practical. Those with no big data plans feel the big hurdles are determining how to get value from big data, defining a strategy, leadership or organizational issues, and even still trying to understand what big data is. In the planning stages, beyond determining value, the top challenges are obtaining skills and capabilities needed, defining strategy, obtaining funding, and beginning to think about infrastructure issues. Companies that are further along with investments must begin to address risk and governance issues, data integration and infrastructure.
Unlike earlier, when organizations had to deal with the volume, variety and velocity aspects of big data, Gartner see a greater challenge will be caused by data variety. Getting value from a variety of data sources, such as social media feeds, machine and sensor data, as well as free-form text, requires not only increased storage capacity, but also different tools and the skills to use them, says the report.
Heudecker however says organizations need greater clarity on big data investment. One thing is, most organizations don’t have a plan for what they’re going to do next. “Picking everything isn’t a strategy. It indicates a fear of missing out on an opportunity yet to be defined.”
He advises organizations can ‘do big data’ on transactions and log data, so that they may assume they can also leverage more challenging data sources as easily.
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