What The Gartner Big Data 2013 Report Means For The Industry

Gartner Big Data Industry

Gartner’s 2013 Big Data survey was recently released and has highlighted some of the long held beliefs in Big Data with survey evidence to prove it.

The survey itself was primarily focused on companies currently working with Gartner. Despite this, due to the numbers and varieties, this is still a broad and impressive number who can realistically give accurate results.

One of the most striking results to come out of the survey was that 64% of companies were planning or have already implemented Big Data systems. This is a significant number as it show that there is a genuine drive within companies to adopt the system. That more than half of companies are looking at the ways they are using data and looking at new data initiatives is only going to be a positive for industry growth.

This is especially pertinent when discussing the future of the industry, as this 64% represents overall plans or implementations, but only 8% of those who are planning on implementing have actually made moves towards it. The 92% gap represents a large list of potential clients for consultants, cloud database products and technology providers.

The 92% potential growth shows not only the willingness of companies to implement, but the future business that will create longevity for Big Data in the next decade. Far from a flash in the pan, with this kind of demand and potential revenue, investments become safer and therefore the industry has a better foundation to grow.

Banking and media are the industries that have made the biggest strides in this area. That these are also two of the traditionally rich industries is unsurprising, but especially with the banking sector, shows that there is a business case for utilizing this technology and a definite profit to be made from it.

So why are these companies looking to implement? 

There have been countless success stories of companies using Big Data to make billions, the Facebooks, Googles and YouTubes of this world have set a strong precedent for how correct data usage can have a significant impact on revenues. Therefore, it is unsurprising that many companies are looking at the ways that these behemoths have used their data.

In each of these cases it has been about customer experience, putting the correct information in front of them at the correct time to create money making situations. This aligns with the survey findings, where the most important reason for wanting to implement Big Data systems is the improvement of customer experience.

According to the survey though, organisations struggle most with knowing how to get value from Big Data. This means that although the merits of a successful implementation are evident from the success of several companies, the individual company rewards from this are difficult to find.

A lack of knowledge in value creation is fed by one of main stumbling blocks for new data implementations; talent acquisition. This is a key concern for many companies as the conversion of meaningful data analysis to actionable business strategies is difficult and requires the kind of skills that are difficult to find in such a new and quickly growing industry.

Gartner have found through discussions with companies who are looking at implementation that despite the drive towards new data initiatives, within the experimentation stage trends are found, but the skills are not available to use these for significant business gains. Therefore leaders become reluctant to move forward when the tentative steps promised much but delivered little.

What are people doing with data? 

Despite the hype around new types of data such as text analysis, image analysis and sensor data, the vast bulk collected is still transactional in nature. This is testament to the customer experience focus of many companies today who can associate certain individual actions to viable business processes.

Gartner’s studies have revealed that there is an increase in the use of machine gathered information such as sensor fed data collection. With the increased use of sensors within electronic devices this is likely to only increase in future.

Overall the Gartner report gives backing to many of the widely held beliefs within the industry. As the famous saying goes ‘if it cannot be measured it cannot exist‘ and this report puts numbers behind assumptions and gives genuine weight to what industry insiders have been saying for a relatively long time.

The report overall will give companies looking to implement a real drive to put some real investment behind Big Data service initiatives whilst also giving practitioners the confidence to expand. We are told that one of the main reasons that startups fail is due to aggressive expansion too quickly, creating unsustainable business models with no genuine numbers behind future business. This report will hopefully give these companies the confidence to go ahead and expand to fill what will be a shortfall in the market within the next decade.

By Gil Allouche

Gil Allouche is the Vice President of Marketing at Qubole. Gil began his marketing career as a product strategist at SAP while earning his MBA at Babson College and is a former software engineer.

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