Researchers at Gartner, Inc. believe that 2013 will be the year of larger-scale adoption of big data technologies. Organizations have gained a better understanding of what big data can do and have identified obvious or potential business opportunities that cannot be met with traditional data sources, technologies or practices. As a result, they are looking to develop big data strategies, ramp up the necessary skills sets and determine how to measure ROI.
That may well be, but other research suggests that getting there might be difficult. In a September 2012 study by CompTIA, approximately one in five businesses claimed to have a big data initiative under way, while 36 percent planned to embark on one in the next 12 months. However, only 37 percent of IT and business executives reported being very familiar or mostly familiar with big data concepts.
The CompTIA study also revealed a number of other challenges related to big data:
- Nearly three in four companies report a high or moderately high degree of data silos within their organization, making it difficult to view data holistically.
- Many do not have a complete or accurate understanding of their data profile, especially as it relates to unstructured data, such as audio and video files and social data streams.
- Just one in three companies have a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place.
One of the biggest challenges associated with big data is assembling the wide range of skills sets involved, and many organizations appear to lack sufficient staff resources. In a recent survey by Robert Half Technology, only 23 percent of CIOs interviewed said their firms gather customer data such as demographics or buying habits. Among those that do, only 46 percent said they had sufficient staff to access customer data and generate reports and other business insights from it.
The CompTIA study found that just over half of companies (53 percent) plan to invest in training to further develop the skills of current employees. Thirty-two percent expect to explore hiring options to add new staff with the desire expertise.
Because of many aspects of big data are extraordinarily complex, many businesses plan to use outside experts for assistance in meeting their objectives. Twenty-eight percent of respondents indicated that they will work with an IT solution provider or vendor for services such as cloud storage integration, data center management and analytic application deployments. To find out how we can help with your data needs contact us today.