The prevalence of big data analytics

Here’s an interesting article from TechRepublic about the growing prevalence of big data analytics:

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/big-data-analytics/beyond-hype-70-percent-will-use-data-analytics-by-2013/284

According to this article, members of ZDnet and TechRepublic were surveyed about how frequently their companies used big data analytics in everyday decision-making and processes. There were around 1300 responses and the results varied by region. In the US and Canada, around 34.9 percent said that their companies did not use big data analytics in everyday decision-making and processes, 18.4 percent said that their organization didn’t do so currently but planned to start in the next 12 months, 21.7 percent said that their companies have started doing so but were still in the early stages of implementation, 14.6 percent said that their companies do so but only in a limited number of departments, 5.2 percent said that their companies do so in most departments, and 5.2 percent said that their companies do so across the organization and consider it to be a core competency. I found these findings to be particularly interesting. While I would have expected the percentage of analytics users to be smaller, it is important to note that there is probably a moderate selection bias due to ZDnet and TechRepublic users probably being somewhat more likely to be involved with more highly data driven firms. The users whose organizations did not use big data analytics in everyday decision-making and processes were also asked to answer why. In the US and Canada, 34.4 percent of users replied that their companies were not in an industry sector that has a lot of data, 14.1 percent replied that their companies had looked into big data and analytics but don’t see suitable returns, 29.3 percent replied that their companies could see potential returns but that was wasn’t currently a priority, and 22.3 percent replied that their companies could see potential returns but don’t currently have the in house skills to make it work. These responses were not altogether unexpected to me. While it seems like there should have been a larger percentage of firms in non-data driven sectors, which again can be explained by the selection bias. As time goes on, it will be interesting to see if more companies that see potential returns in big data analytics but either don’t currently view it as a priority or don’t have the in house skills to make it work eventually begin to focus more on implementing big data analytics and develop the ability to do so more effectively.

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