Most firms have no Big Data plans

Big Data is the latest phrase to get a lot of hype in the IT industry. But are businesses buying into it? 

What is Big Data? The term refers to the vast amounts of data that result from people’s interactions with the Internet, social media and mobile apps. It’s unstructured data, meaning it doesn’t fit neatly into rows and columns with clear relationships on which simple queries and reports can be based.

Some IT experts — and the vendors selling data analytics tools — have been stressing to organizations that they need to get handle on Big Data and turn it into useful information that can help with business decisions.

However, most businesses currently have no Big Data plans, according to a recent survey from market research firm TheInfoPro. In fact, 56% of organizations have no plans to invest in Big Data analytics even beyond 2013.

Among the 255 IT pros surveyed, 24% had installed a Big Data solution in 2011 or earlier, while 5% have done or will do so in 2012. Just 16% plan to roll out Big Data software in 2013 or later.

For the respondents with no Big Data plans, most said they’re unable to make a strong business case for it, or have yet to see a need for Big Data.

One takeaway from the survey: Big Data isn’t for everyone. According to TheInfoPro, the technology is most popular in the financial services and healthcare industries, where it’s especially helpful to boil down a lot of data to look for trends and patterns.

Finance leaders, for example, are hearing strong recommendations from experts that investing in Big Data analytics can provide a big boost to the bottom line. The president of the American Institute of CPAs, Barry C. Melancon, recently wrote a strong recommendation that organizational finance pros should be on the cutting edge of using Big Data tools to gain a competitive edge for their businesses.

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