One of the drawbacks of big data is that it’s difficult to conceptualize. Sure, data is everywhere, but is it being used in a meaningful way?
There are still barriers for enterprises seeking to monetize or operationalize big data, but there are many promising examples of big data in action already. The Business Application Research Center (BARC) compiled a fantastic infographic that offers a comprehensive, bird’s eye view of the current status of big data initiatives, the greatest challenges facing enterprises in big data analysis, and which industries are leading the way.
The infographic below is based on the recent Big Data Use Cases 2015 survey from BARC, sponsored by Information Builders and other industry leaders, which polled 550 business leaders from a wide range of industries focusing on use cases and the technological, organizational and business issues with big data analysis. See below to visualize the outcome of this survey.
As the infographic above clearly shows, analyzing large volumes of data (57 percent) and creating new or better data analysis possibilities (55 percent) are the top challenges for businesses. From an implementation standpoint, leaders report that data privacy and data security are the biggest concerns. On the more positive side, nearly one in five leaders (18 percent) report that big data is already part of business processes and 41 percent report their company has experience with big data. North America is trending well ahead of Europe in this regard—28 percent of North American companies are operationalizing big data compared to just 16 percent in Europe. Retail, finance and manufacturing are the top three industry sectors making the most use of big data.
How is the data being used? The frontrunner in this category is “better strategic decisions” (69 percent), followed by “better steering of operational processes” (54 percent) and “better insight into customers/improved ‘customer experience’” (52 percent). Most of these improvements are taking place in sales and marketing departments, and areas such as logistics and human resources are thus far the least likely to benefit from big data analysis, according to BARC.
According to a smaller subset of respondents that are quantifying their big data initiatives, about 10 percent are using it to lower costs, while eight percent are using it to drive higher revenues.
And finally, it should come as no surprise that among eight different tools, the one considered most integral to big data initiatives is BI, according to the infographic. Most companies that are ahead of the curve have launched big data pilot projects using their BI tools, building a case within their organizations to develop further big data analysis projects. Extending the use of the BI platform to new data assets is what maximizes the ROI on the BI investment as a whole.
Be sure to check out the infographic and the report to take a closer look at the insights from the BARC survey, and register today for a seminar series sponsored by Information Builders, BARC, and MapR in your city.