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Do User Companies Understand Big Data?

Despite industry hype, most organizations have yet to develop and implement a big data strategy.

Business analytics company SAS and researcher SourceMedia surveyed 339 data management professionals about their organizations’ use of data management technology.

The results, released today (April 1), show few organizations taking advantage of product, customer and other data sources.

Just 12 percent of organizations surveyed are currently executing against a big data strategy in daily operations.

The most common reasons others are not fully exploiting their big data:

  • 21 percent don’t know enough about big data.
  • 15 percent don’t understand the benefits.
  • 9 percent lack business support.
  • 9 percent lack data quality in existing systems.

“The 12 percent of organizations that are already planning around big data enjoy a significant competitive advantage,” said Todd Wright, global product marketing manager for SAS DataFlux Data Quality.

[ Also Read: What Is CIO’s Role in Enterprise of the Future? ]

Asked about the likelihood that their organizations would use external big data in 2014, just 14 percent of respondents said “very likely,” while 19 percent responded “not likely at all.”

Specific concerns included data quality and accuracy, accessing the right data, reconciling disparate data, lack of organizational view into data, timeliness, compliance, and security.

[ Also Read: 10 Most Hyped Tech Offerings of 2012 ]

The survey found no real consensus on who owns the data management strategy, with responses ranging from midlevel IT personnel up to the CEO. This confusion likely causes additional challenges in data strategy development and execution.

Most respondents call detailed data analysis a priority for supporting business decisions, along with increased internal reporting and information access. When asked what they want from data solutions, the number one answer was data visualizations and dashboards (73 percent), data profiling (53 percent), and SaaS (44 percent).

[ Also Read: Big Data to Help Know the History of the Universe ]

Customer and product data top the data types collected by organizations. The types of customer data being collected to make decisions were business-to-consumer (66 percent), end-customer data (59 percent), citizen data (29 percent) and patient data (23 percent).

The product data being collected for decision making included selling-side (62 percent), buying-side (61 percent) and MRO (40 percent).

This online survey was fielded in December 2012 to information management professionals. The 339 respondents were screened for involvement with their organization’s data management tools and processes.

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