Organizations in every sector, from healthcare to retail to education, are looking to mine big data for a competitive edge. However, studies have demonstrated that many firms' analytical technologies and methods are proving inadequate, highlighting a need for the deployment of database experts and other third-party support.
InformationWeek reported that according to a recent survey by IDG Research and Kapow Software of more than 200 IT and business leaders, while enterprises have been generally disappointed with the results of big data projects, most still see these initiatives as well worth pursuing. Though more than 85 percent of leaders agreed that big data can help firms make more informed, data-driven decisions, only 23 percent of respondents see these projects as successful.
Researchers determined that a main reason for this gap between hope and reality with big data is that projects have proved too costly. Additionally, as most enterprises do not have the in-house skills or expertise required to handle these analytics, it has become increasingly difficult to extract valuable insights, which has hindered ROI.
"The lack of simple tools that make it easy to consume and put critical data into the hands of business users is a perceived barrier that keeps Big Data an IT endeavor rather than a business-driven initiative to support decision-making across the organization," the white paper asserted, according to InformationWeek.
The news source revealed that one of IDG's survey respondents' main challenges is the inability to quickly and effectively automate the integration of both structured and unstructured data, the news provider explained. Further, 60 percent of these leaders said that big data projects take too long to complete – sometimes up to 18 months or more.
Still, InformationWeek noted IDG expects the number of big data projects to double within the next 12 months.
Support for success
In order to address the obstacles that companies have faced in reaching big data objectives, Wikibon found that many firms are deploying professional services. The source projected that the big data market will top $18 billion this year and approach $50 billion by 2017. Professional services comprised the largest segment of that market. The firm expects that as big data infrastructure, middleware and technical services mature and become increasingly sophisticated, more common standards for analytics will be adopted.
As enterprises seek to answer high-value business questions and resolve critical problems, decision-makers will need to seek out analytic platforms and associated consulting services for accurate, real-time insights.
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