By a greater than two-to-one margin, organizations today view big data primarily as a business opportunity rather than an IT challenge and are moving quickly to do something about it, according to a recent global survey of almost 600 IT and business professionals conducted by Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ: INFA), the world’s number one independent provider of data integration software.
Designed to assess the state of big data projects and understand big data strategies, the survey reveals an aggressive move on the part of organizations to master big data for business advantage, with the majority of enterprises, nearly 70 percent, now considering (44 percent), planning (22 percent), testing (13 percent) or running (20 percent) big data projects.
The complete survey report entitled, Balancing Opportunity and Risk in Big Data, is available for download.
The Multiple Facets of Big Data
The new survey reveals the diversity of big data and its breadth of opportunities and challenges. When asked which aspects of big data are relevant to their organization, most respondents cite the management of growing transaction volumes (74 percent), indicating there are still significant challenges even in the more traditional enterprise data realm. But also of relevance are new technologies such as Hadoop and NoSQL (46 percent) for efficiently processing big data. Meanwhile, the management of big interaction data – including social media data (35 percent), mobile device data (31 percent) and machine-generated data (22 percent) – is very much rising in relevance due to the insights, efficiencies and customer engagement these new data types can help drive.
Many Eyes on Many Prizes
What do organizations intend to get from their big data efforts? A wide variety of benefits, according to survey respondents. Improving efficiency in business operations by doing more things with more data is the number one business driver (71 percent). This is followed by increasing business agility (51 percent).
But also important is introducing new products and services (50 percent) and attracting and retaining customers (49 percent), as well as enhancing analytics (47 percent), and lowering IT costs through technologies such as Hadoop (38 percent).
Big Data Challenges
Lack of maturity in big data tools is the top challenge (52 percent) that respondents face in big data projects, including a lack of support for reuse and metadata in current Hadoop environments. Lack of support for real-time streaming data is another key challenge (39 percent), followed by concerns over poor data quality (38 percent), data security and privacy (38 percent) and the limited availability of skilled developers to manage big data (35 percent). Other top concerns are overly difficult development for Hadoop (34 percent), and lack of data governance capabilities (32 percent).
“The reality is, big data represents both opportunities and challenges, but those key challenges identified by our survey respondents are set to diminish with the advances introduced in the newest version of the Informatica Platform, Informatica 9.5,” said Girish Pancha, chief products officer, Informatica. “Engineered expressly to help organizations maximize their return on big data, Informatica 9.5 will accelerate the ‘mainstreaming’ of new technologies such as Hadoop, enable existing skill sets to be leveraged for big data projects, and enable organizations to realize the promise of big data while maximizing the data’s value and reducing its costs.”
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