Big Data is producing big returns according to Global Survey, 73 percent of companies have leveraged data to increase revenue

Growing skills shortage and a trio of trends creates big data management and analysis challenges

June 6, 2012

Growing skills shortage and a trio of trends – employee mobility, cloud computing, social networking – creates big data management and analysis challenges

Avanade, a business technology solutions and managed services provider, has announced the results of a global survey of more than 550 business executives and IT leaders, which reveals the investments companies are making to manage big data are paying off. Eighty-four percent of respondents report 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).

 “Big data has become everyone’s business and it has gained a top spot on the agenda of business leaders for the real value it has begun to create,” said Manoj Bhoola, Avanade South Africa Country Manager. “Today, the technologies used to leverage big data for business purposes have reached a tipping point – widespread companies and employees are able to find financial and competitive benefits from their data.”

Beyond tangible business value, evidence shows big data has become pervasive – more types of employees have more access to more technology options to manage and analyse data. The majority of companies surveyed (57 percent) said in just the last 12 months, more technology options became available to analyse and manage data. Further, the survey found companies are investing in that technology. Almost every company surveyed (91 percent) is using tools to manage and analyse data today.

Big Data Moves 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 data management is now embedded throughout their business.

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.

Challenges Remain

Despite these developments, 85 percent of respondents still report obstacles in managing and analysing data and 63 percent feel their company needs to develop new skills to turn data into business insights.

Further, the shifts in how employees work – from the consumerisation of IT and the growing use of consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets in the workplace, to the flood of data created and shared on social networks – is only making the rapid growth of data more challenging to manage. 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. Business leaders are really 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,” said Bhoola.

The “Is Big Data Producing Big Returns?” survey was conducted by Wakefield Research, an independent research firm, in April 2012, and surveyed 569 C-level executives, IT decision makers and business unit leaders at top companies located in 18 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South Africa.

For additional information or to download a copy of the executive summary, please visit http://www.avanade.com/bigdata.