What Is The Big Confusion With Big Data?

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 23, 2014

big data challenges

While businesses are showing a keen interest in Big Data adoption, the sector isn’t fully mature, hindering its adoption and growth. A recent study conducted by Datamation reveals that part of what’s holding back businesses is the big confusion surrounding big data. While IT professionals realize they need to get on board with big data, many are concerned about issues like project and management costs, along with issues involved with scaling infrastructure and overcoming data silos and application integration.

The big confusion 

What more of a concern is that the vendor market is also just emerging, says the report. For instance, the role of vendors and the relative status of vendors is still every much up for grabs, says the study. When participants were asked which vendors they were working with or planned to work with, to address big data analytics, a chunk of them (43%) surprisingly said “none.” Only one or two vendors were selected by more than 10% of respondents.

The study also points out, firms that are already leveraging big data or the early adopters are facing an array of challenges. These include the myriad complexities of software and data integration, data curation and storage, and the difficulty in making analytics accessible for users throughout the organization.

Another key concern is businesses fail to realize the value of big data is enhancing decision throughout the business, not only in the C suite. This promise of decentralized knowledge is the key competitive advantage of big data. Ideally big data analytics enables personnel from the sales to finance and the IT department for making smarter, faster decisions based on insightful analysis of a timely data set.

The good news however is that despite confusion on how to derive value from big data, businesses believe big data will grow and will become the key decision making tool for them. Nearly, 77% of respondents consider big data analytics a priority. The study also states that over two-third of the respondents have plans for, or are currently involved with big data initiatives.

While transparency and speed are of key importance, accurate decision making is also becoming a top area of concern for enterprises, says the study. Interestingly, over 60% respondents see the value of automated decision making, suggesting that human analysis of Big Data will become less of a default choice as tools grow more sophisticated.

Growth amid challenges

While mobile and social data will grow phenomenally over the years, respondents expect their data volumes to nearly double over the next two years.

An IDC released last year too forecast that by 2020, the world will generate 50 times today’s information. It predicts “given the evolution of Big Data tools, the IT staff needed to manage the tsunami of data will grow by less than 1.5 times.”

Likewise, challenges of Big Data are numerous, including the need to scale to accommodate the scope of data. Not surprisingly therefore, when asked how firms will scale for Big Data most respondents said: “establish easy to use tools” and “increasing network bandwidth.” One fourth also said by “migrating to cloud based storage.”

The survey shows big data will continue to grow amidst confusion and the vendor space will become mature enough as more businesses move towards cloud, mobile, social platforms.