UK firms increasingly recognise value of Big Data

25th Oct 2012

Nearly two thirds of UK businesses agree that Big Data provides a competitive advantage – an increase from 34% in 2010.

However, despite this increase, the report from IBM and the Saïd School of Business at the University of Oxford found there are still many areas where companies are failing to exploit the opportunities Big Data can bring.  

According to the survey of 1,144 business and IT professionals around the world, less than half of companies (39%) currently analyse data from social media (39%), whilst similar volumes neglect external feeds (39%) and geospatial data (37%). A ‘lack of understanding of how to use Big Data to impact business’ is the key obstacle to such analytics strategies.

The study also reported that Big Data adoption evolved over four stages with just 5% of companies using Big Data to the fullest sense.

Matin Jouzdani, strategy consultant at IBM Global Business Services, said: “One key reason for companies not collecting and analysing wider varieties of data lies in the veracity – or truthfulness – of insights generated from sources such as real-time data and social media. Striving for high data quality is an important Big Data requirement, and the survey respondents questioned the ability to trust rapidly growing forms of unstructured data, such as those generated from on-line consumer comments, reviews, Tweets and other forms of freely offered opinions.

“Another reason that such forms of data are being underutilised is due to the skills gap.  Having the more advanced analytical capabilities for managing unstructured data – including geospatial location data, voice and video – as well as streaming data remains a top challenge for most organisations.  Less than 25% of the survey respondents say they have the required capabilities to analyse highly unstructured data – a major inhibitor to getting the most value from Big Data.”

A recent report from Gartner claimed that whilst Big Data makes organisations smarter, open data will increase revenue and business value.


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