Big data isn’t just the exclusive property of big web properties such as Google, Facebook, eBay and Yahoo. While these companies blazed the path in harnessing the analytic power of big data, organizations of all different sizes and industry groups are now leveraging big data in many ways as well. That’s the finding of a survey of 304 data managers and professionals, conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today Inc. The survey, fielded in April 2013, revealed a range of practical approaches that organizations of all types and sizes are adopting to manage and capitalize on the big data flowing through their enterprises.
Key findings from the survey include the following:
- For many organizations today, handling data is not business as usual. More than two-fifths report they have formal “big data” initiatives in progress, most of which focus on greater customer analysis.
- Between one-third and one-half of the organizations surveyed report high levels of volume, variety, velocity, and value in data—the “four Vs” that define big data. Two-fifths now maintain data stores in the hundreds of terabytes and greater, and three-fourths face restive user bases that want more data to do their jobs.
Most executives intuitively understand the advantages big
data can bring to their operations, especially with predictive
analytics and customer analytics. However, organizational
and skills issues may slow down their progress.
Respondents represent a wide range of job titles and, organizations. Leading titles mentioned include DBAs (17%), data architects (13%) and IT consultants (11%). Another 15% of respondents are IT managers and executives, while 8% are business unit executives. More than one-fourth come from organizations with more than 10,000 employees, and the same number represent small firms with 100 or fewer employees. Industries represented include IT and tech, government, financial services, business and consumer services, and education.