Survey: Big data brings real benefits for businesses

Big data is one of the hottest buzz words in IT right now. But how many companies actually plan to implement the technology? A lot, says one new survey. 

Although the companies currently using big data are still in the minority, the technology looks like it will live up to its hype, according to a recent survey from Actuate.

Right now, big data isn’t commonly used even by large enterprises. Among companies with more than $1 billion in yearly revenue, 26% are currently using big data. However, that should change in the future, as an additional 34% are planning a big data project. The remaining 40% haven’t considered implementing the tools.

But while it’s often assumed that big data is for big companies, other organizations aren’t that far behind. Among the smaller companies surveyed by Actuate, 19% are currently using big data and 27% are planning an implementation.

IT sees big data benefits

The move to big data will require significant investments from companies. Research firm Gartner predicts global IT spending to rise to $3.8 trillion next year, thanks in part to the big data market.

What are companies using big data to accomplish? The companies in the planning stages are looking to use the technology for:

  • Customer experience analysis
  • Customer insights
  • Fraud prevention and analysis
  • Targeted marketing
  • Behavioral analysis
  • Customer lifecycle management, and
  • Operations improvement.

Organizations that have completed their implementations are using those applications, plus capacity forecasting and network monitoring.

The top benefits expected by firms in the planning stages are:

  • The ability to make better decisions faster
  • Increased competitive advantage
  • Increased efficiency, and
  • Improved customer targeting.

And there’s good news for the companies getting ready to invest in big data technologies: Those were the same top benefits companies with projects in place said they’re currently seeing from big data.

New IT jobs

The new trend will also have benefits for IT pros skilled in the technology, as they’re sure to be in high demand as more big data jobs need to be filled.

In fact, the companies surveyed by Actuate said a lack of IT staff skilled in big data was the top obstacle to implementing the technology.

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