Home Articles Big Data=Big Problem? Perhaps but the times are a-changing

Big Data=Big Problem? Perhaps but the times are a-changing


For a while now, Big Data has been seen as a Big Problem. It might be time to shed that perception and begin to see Big Data as a big solution.

A study — titled “Is Big Data Producing Big Returns?” — released by Avanade Australia, a consulting firm in which Accenture is the majority owner, reveals payoffs for companies that invested to manage Big Data.

In Australia, a stunning 82% of respondents said Big Data helped them make better business decisions, and 64% said the investments helped them raise revenue — 44% raised revenue from existing revenue streams and 20% were able to create new sources of revenue.

A tipping point?

“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 Adam Wengert, Avanade Australia’s chief technology officer. “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.”

Predictably, the three big drivers toward Big Data have been:

  • employee mobility
  • cloud computing
  • social networking.

These, along with what is known as the consumerisation of IT, have forced companies to rethink their data management strategy.

The big payoff from Big Data stems from the insights it provides to more and more employees.

The study already found that Big Data has become pervasive – “more types of employees have more access to more technology options to manage and analyze data.” A majority of Australian respondents (64 percent) said data management is now embedded throughout their business, higher than the global average of 58%.

Over a third of Australian companies (38 percent) said more employees than ever before are involved in making decisions as a result of the wider access to Big Data.

If that’s the glass half full, there is enough to point to the glass half empty.

A high 82 percent of the respondents still cite “obstacles” in managing and analyzing data; and 64 percent feel their company needs to develop new skills to turn data into business insights.

“The challenges of big data remain, but the opportunities are even greater,” said Wengert, providing the proper perspective.

“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,” he added.

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