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Enterprises confident about tackling Big Data initiatives

Thor Olavsrud | Sept. 26, 2013
CompTIA's Big Data Insights and Opportunities study finds that a majority of organizations feel more positive about big data as a business initiative. They also see significant costs associated with falling behind in managing and using data.

Failure to Manage and Use Data Costs
What is clear, though, is that businesses largely agree that they cannot afford to poorly manage and use their data. They see the top five costs of failing to manage/use data as follows:

  • Wasted time that could be spent in other areas of the business
  • Internal confusion over priorities
  • Inefficient or slow decision-making and a lack of agility
  • Inability to effectively assess staff performance
  • Lost sales and reduced margins due to operational inefficiencies

In most cases, with a few exceptions, the concerns about shortcomings managing and using data scale with the size of the organization.

"As businesses scale above 100 or so employees, complexities arise on a number of levels," Herbert says. "Consequently, medium-size businesses voice more concern over shortcomings in the management and utilization of data. For example, 46 percent of medium-size businesses (100 to 500 employees) cite confusion over internal priorities as a consequence of poor data management compared to 34 percent of small firms (less than 100 employees)."

"For IT solution providers or vendors working in the big data space, this should serve as an important reminder to connect data-related solutions to business objectives, emphasizing outputs over the nuts and bolts of the inputs."

Big Data Skills Gap Remains a Concern

While organizations are growing increasingly comfortable with big data, they still report a skills gap in the area. Six in 10 respondents told CompTIA they need to boost employee skill levels on the technical or business side of data management and analysis. Also, 66 percent plan to invest in training for current employees, while 43 percent intend to hire new workers with data-specific expertise.

"CompTIA's 2012 State of IT Skills Gaps study found companies currently place great importance on skills related to managing servers, data centers, storage and information," Herbert says. "The emerging areas of analytics and big data-specific tools such as Hadoop are lower on the list, which makes sense given the relative newness of these technologies. It's likely future iterations of CompTIA skills gaps research will show gains in importance of big data-related skill sets."

Among firms in the IT channel, CompTIA found an increasing number of big data-related offerings. Nearly one-third of channel partners in the study report providing big data application deployment or integration services, and Herbert says you can expect an additional 14 percent to offer big data consulting or advisory services over the next 12 months.


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