90% Organizations Consider Big Data a Top Priority for their Businesses – Reports Say

September 14 2015

With more awareness is being spread, organizations have finally started making big advancements in Big Data but there are still many milestones to achieve to make a considerable impact on their bottom line processes.

Organizations Consider Big Data a Top Priority for their Businesses – Reports Say

That’s the most prominent conclusion derived from a Survey conducted by Forbes Insight along with Teradata Corp and McKinsey & Company. A team of 316 Big Data experts travelled across the world to collect some insight into how organizations are making use of Big Data and what challenges restrict these organizations from fully launching themselves in the Big Data world.

Related: The “Big” Trends in Big Data Analytics

The survey was based on the following considerations:

  1. What are the most critical aspects to adopt Big Data Analytics in any organization?

  2. What makes an organization a leader in Big Data & Analytics?

  3. In what parts of the world have Big Data made the largest ground presence?

  4. What are the best practices to transform your business?

  5. How do data types vary across industries and what data types should leaders rely upon?

  6. At what extent does right technology & talent affects success?

  7. How to foster a culture that gets rewarded with Big Data Analytics?

  8. What types of investments are organizations making in big data & what is the Return over Investment?

  9. What are the challenges organizations see, and what can be the best roadmap to overcome those?

The survey results are highly encouraging, at the same time providing some valuable insights about the structure of big data in forthcoming years. Encouraging, because it’s clearly observed that a large percentage of organizations see big data as the ‘next big thing’. Around 59 per cent of responders accepted that big data is the single major way to get a competitive advantage. They also accept that big data is among the top-five priorities for their companies. Upon asking about investment, around 90 per cent of responders accept that their investments were ‘medium to high’; with one-third accepting that their investments were ‘very significant’. And when we talk about their Returns over Investment, more than two-thirds of responders accept that their investments were actually paying off.

Building a Data-Driven Culture – The Challenges:

More than two-third of responders clearly state that the biggest challenge they face while thinking to create a data-driven culture is a lack of information about the best experiments that could be made with their data. At the same time, 43 per cent see building a corporate strategy as the biggest challenge. Decision-making is also a big concern with 48 per cent of responders accepting ‘making stats-based decisions with data’ as their biggest challenge.

“Despite the progress we see reported, as companies make the most of big data resources, there remains plenty of room for improvement. The cultural challenges can handicap every facet of a big data initiative,” said Matt Ariker, Chief Operating Officer of Consumer Marketing at McKinsey. “But the good news is that the reverse is true as well: improving how a company fosters a culture and mindset that rewards the use of data experimentation can help a data and analytics initiative gain momentum and impact.”

However, planning to overcome these challenges should be a high priority given the massive potential this data has. The universe has never had such a vast amount of data as it has today – with world’s digital data reaching the 4.4 trillion gigabytes mark, and is doubling every two years (based upon a report published by EMC and IDC). Social media channels, or better call them ‘real-time feeders’ are the biggest source of this data, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & LinkedIn making a larger portion of this data. The Internet of Things & today’s treasure troves of open data further contributes to create this amount of data.

Data Types – How They Matter?

Amongst all these data sources, 56% organizations rely on location-based data. Text, such as emails, PDF files and fax are collected by 48% organizations, followed by social media trails which is being collected by 43% organizations. The surprising fact is that what we call ‘worth a thousand words’, media, is being used by only one-third organizations.

Geographical Locations – A Big Player:

Surprisingly enough, Asia-Pacific countries lead the data chart with more than 41% executives from Asian countries considering big data as the biggest game changer in their organizations’ culture. North America trails with a very low 19%. This is a clear indicator that pre-established organizations (that’s what we call developed countries), it is still hard to take risk with big data.

What Organizations actually want?

Despite these variations and stats, organizations have different expectations from big data and analytics. All they want is making more business opportunities through their data. However, their top three expectations from big data are developing better business model (54% votes), discovering new product range (52% votes) and monetizing the data (40% votes).

Strange Bedfellows:

Helping each other to move things amongst organizations is a h2 correlation between C-Suite organizations and big data’s status. However, this can only be achieved when both organizations understand the importance of big data. Survey reports say that one-fourth of responders consider big data the highest priority for their company, and a mere 3% say it’s nowhere a priority. However, more than half responders accept that big data may give them a competitive advantage and it should be the CEO’s focus.

The Bright Side:

Business advantages, better revenue and reduced costs – the advantage of big data are endless. However, there’s no magic bullet to get business success with big data & analytics. Organizations must implement several practices to utilize the hidden potentials of big data – such as:

  1. Gain Expertise – be it any business, expertise in big data is essential to utilize it to fullest extent. Streamlining workflow, better customer service, better culture and comprehensive analysis are the vital part of the game.

  2. Make Investments – if you want to leverage the benefits, you have to pay for that. Make big data analysis an inseparable part of your annual budget and use some money to implement it properly.

  3. Hire the Right Talent – more than 50% of organizations accept that lack of talent is what preventing them to implement a big-data culture. HRs must give considerable priority to hire right talent for big data analysis.

  4. Spark the Dialogue – CEOs and big data analysts may not speak a same language, but creating a communication bridge is essential. Leaders and analysts must find a way to communicate about their respective needs for supporting business objectives.

  5. Ensure Success of Changes Made – it’s hard to see success very early on, but managing the success after making changes is crucial to remain confident with big data usage.

Related: Using the Big Data Analytics to look beyond the Known-Knowns


Today’s world is a data-centric world where CEOs must consider it amongst their top priorities. Leaders from Asia-Pacific, mostly dealing in retail industries, have already found a way to mining the massive amount of data to form a better organization culture. Investments are there, but payoffs are highly impressive.

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