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Demand for big data is strong in the region

Jack Loo | March 26, 2013
Microsoft shows off its customer case studies in big data implementation.

A Microsoft-survey on big data demand in the Asia Pacific region is claiming that more than 75 per cent of mid-sized to large businesses are implementing big data-related projects within the next 12 months.

The study, Global Enterprise Big Data Trends: 2013, surveyed more than 280 IT decision makers in the region. Another finding is that the demand for big data is increasingly taking place outside of the IT department. Customer care alone took up 41 percent of the demand, followed by sales (26 percent), finance (23 percent) and marketing (23 percent).

Nearly 90 percent of customers surveyed dedicate a part of their budget to addressing big data. Seventeen percent are in the early stages of researching big data solutions, and 13 percent have fully deployed big data solutions.

Nearly half of customers (49 percent) reported that growth in the volume of data is the greatest challenge driving big data solution adoption. Forty-one percent saw difficulties in having to integrate disparate business intelligence tools, while 40 percent took to task the tools used in gleaning business insights.

Microsoft believes its research is supported by projections from IDC that the big data technology and services market in Asia Pacific will grow from US$258.5 million in 2011 to US$1.76 billion in 2016.

"Increasingly, more and more organisations are starting to understand the value of big data not just as a solution for IT problems, but as a competitive advantage," said Arun Ulagaratchagan, general manager, Server & Tools Division, Microsoft Asia Pacific.

"No matter the industry, big data can be used to manage customer demands and expectations, predict behaviour, respond to rapidly changing market conditions, and improve overall operational efficiency," added Ulagaratchagan.

One reason why the big data trend is catching on in the region is that it can open up a world beyond deep-rooted conventional thinking and superstitions, offered Kenneth Cukier, co-author of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think.

"We live in a world where we can never have enough information, but big data is as close as we can come to complete information," Cukier said. "This allows us to make better decisions that are based on solid information instead of relying solely on 'intuition' or 'hunches' and in turn lead our organisation to success, whether it is a country or a corporation."

Case studies

Microsoft is also bullish about its leadership claims to the region's big data vendor market. It published several successful case studies of its customers utilising Microsoft's big data technologies.

The National University of Singapore deployed SQL Server 2012 to create real-time analysis of how its 37,000 students use its online learning portal. The insights gleamed from this big data project enabled NUS to create better user experience of the site. In automating big data analysis using SQL Server 2012, NUS was able to save up to 50 percent of man-hours spent previously on manual processing of Web statistics and other forms of data.


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