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Big Data: risk or reward?

Brian Karlovsky | Jan. 24, 2014
Businesses choosing to avoid big data for fear of compliance risk may be at greater risk of losing out to competitors, according to a new independent white paper.

big data

Businesses choosing to avoid big data for fear of compliance risk may be at greater risk of losing out to competitors, according to a new independent white paper.

The latest ISACA white paper points out understanding the business case is just as important as understanding the technology and compliance risk.

ISACA committee member Norman Marks said there were risks inherent in implementing Big Data, such as ensuring privacy laws were not breached. "But the risk of inaction may be far greater, with a company being left behind as its competitors embrace the technique to leap ahead," he said.

"The insights obtained into customer needs and buying patterns, the reputation the company holds in the marketplace and the emergence of new risks can help the organisation make dramatic advances by adapting its strategies for success.

"In addition, big data enables significant improvements in the ability to manage risk and ensure compliance, with one example being the ability of banks to monitor transactions and identify suspected money laundering." According to ISACA's 2013 IT Risk/Reward Barometer, a global indicator of trust in information, close to half (46 per cent) of the 2,013 business and IT professionals polled said that big data had the potential to add or has already added value to their organisation.

Yet only 22 per cent felt adequately prepared to provide governance and manage privacy effectively.

This was reflected in the Australia/New Zealand responses where 44 per cent indicated that big data had the potential to add or had already added value to their organisation -- while only 14 per cent felt adequately prepared to manage surrounding issues. The new ISACA White Paper provides detailed guidance on understanding the business case for big data, summarising case studies that show how increased competitiveness and transformative results are achieved through imaginative uses of data.

According to the White Paper, the retail and healthcare industries are particularly fertile grounds for a business case justifying the use of big data analytics, notes the paper, due to the sheer volumes of already-collected data that can be further leveraged through sophisticated analytics.

 

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