“Big Data” has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the online business world the past few years, but just how big are the returns being delivered to companies that are successfully leveraging big data management?
Pretty big, according to one new study. Business technology solutions provider Avanade surveyed more than 500 business executives and IT leaders and found that most of the investments that companies are making to manage big data are paying off in spades.
Eighty-four percent of respondents believe that big data helps them make better business decisions, and 73 percent of companies have already used data to increase revenue by growing existing revenue streams (57 percent) or creating entirely new sources of revenue (43 percent).
Beyond tangible business value, evidence shows that big data has become pervasive. More employees in businesses have greater access to increased technology options for managing and analyzing data. The majority of companies surveyed (57 percent) noted that in just the last 12 months, more technology options became available to help analyze and manage data.
More importantly, research shows that companies are investing in this technology, with almost every company surveyed (91 percent) reporting the use of tools to manage and analyze data today.
“Big data has gained a top spot on the agenda of business leaders for the real value it has begun to create,” says Tyson Hartman, global CTO and corporate vice president of Avanade. “Today, the technologies and skills used to leverage big data for business purposes have reached a tipping point – new types of data supported by better tools to leverage it enable companies to find financial and competitive benefits from their data.”
It’s Become Everyone’s Business
Big data has moved beyond the walls of IT. Today, 95 percent of businesses do not consider data analysts a part of their IT staff. Instead, companies are now distributing that expertise to line-of-business groups throughout the company.
The majority of respondents (58 percent) report that data management is now embedded throughout their business as a dedicated function. Further, over half of global companies (59 percent) say more employees than ever before are involved in making decisions as a result of more widely available company data.
Still Work to be Done
However, as with many major technology trends, the benefits of big data come with meaningful challenges. Eighty-five percent of respondents still report obstacles in managing and analyzing data, including being overwhelmed by sheer volume to data security concerns to not having enough dedicated staff to analyze the data.
The majority of stakeholders (63 percent) also feel their companies need to develop new skills to turn data into business insights.
Findings also show that three other major trends – employee mobility, cloud computing and social networking – are making the data deluge more challenging. The majority of respondents reported that employee mobility (73 percent), cloud computing (65 percent) and social networking (61 percent) are all causing their company to rethink its data management strategy.
“The challenges of big data remain, but the opportunities are even greater,” says Hartman. “Business leaders are moving from defense to offense in their data management strategies. Forward-looking companies are empowering more people across the enterprise with the tools and skills needed to make better business decisions and ultimately, harness the power that big data promises.”