Thursday, Oct 16 2014

Big Data Gets Big Results

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Big Data Gets Big Results

The buzz about Big Data continues to grow, but are companies that have already started working with it seeing any returns on their investment? According to a new study from tech consulting firm Accenture, an overwhelming majority of executives who’ve launched big data projects are pleased with the power and effectiveness of this new digital tool.

Big Data is consistently valuable

The Accenture study looked at big data projects and installations implemented by CIOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CDOs (chief data officers) and other senior IT leaders across seven industries, in 19 different countries. Responses indicated astonishingly high rates of satisfaction and ROI from big data investments:

  • 92 percent of executives were satisfied with the results of their big data installations
  • 89 percent said big data is “very important” or “extremely important” to the digital transformation of their business
  • 82 percent said big data provides significant value to their organization

The research and observations from senior executives point to big data as not just a passing fad, accessible only to a small percentage of huge, multi-million dollar corporations, but a truly effective strategy that delivers actual benefits like streamlined operational efficiency, an expanded base of loyal customers, and increased revenues. With effective use of big data, businesses are able to develop a competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded online market.

Big Data pinpoints new sources of revenue, enhances customer experience

One of the most common ways businesses are using big data is to find new sources of revenue — and this area is also delivering the most tangible benefits. According to the Accenture study:

  • 94 percent of executives use big data moderately or extensively to identify new revenue sources — and 56 percent report extensive tangible benefits
  • 90 percent use big data moderately or extensively to retain current customers and acquire new customers
  • 89 percent use big data moderately or extensively to develop new products and services

While bringing in new customers creates new sources of revenue, organizations are also using big data to improve customer relations. Of the executives surveyed, 47 percent report extensive, measurable benefits from winning and keeping customers through big data, and 51 percent say enhancing the customer experience through big data has achieved measurable gains. Considering the next five years, 63 percent of executives believe that big data will have the largest impact on their customer relationships.

Challenges to big data implementation

As with any relatively new technology, using big data comes with some challenges and concerns. Accenture found that security is the greatest challenge, with 51 percent of executives citing security as the top issue — particularly as the number of big data users in their organization expands.

Other major challenges facing big data include:

  • Budget (47 percent)
  • Lack of talent for big data implementation (41 percent)
  • Lack of talent to run big data / analytics on an ongoing basis (37 percent)
  • Integration with existing systems (35 percent)

Flexibility and a willingness to experiment with approaches and strategies has been the most effective means to overcoming the challenges presented by big data. Accenture states that it’s vital for organizations to recognize that no single big data solution will fit every situation.

Tips for success with Big Data

With the increasing accessibility and cost-effectiveness of big data technology, companies of any size in every industry can take advantage of the benefits big data provides. Accenture’s key recommendations for capitalizing on big data include:

  • Start small. Attempting to accomplish everything at once with big data can, and typically will, result in a scattered focus and little to no return. Instead, choose a single business area to target first, and launch a proof of concept or pilot program to prove value before implementing wider strategies.
  • Stay flexible. The technologies that drive big data are still relatively new, and in a constant state of change. Companies using big data must remain nimble and alert to the opportunities presented by these evolving technologies.
  • Focus on talent. In order to capitalize on big data, companies need a workforce that’s able to implement strategies effectively. One solution is to offer training for existing employees to build big data skills — a strategy 54 percent of executives said they are currently implementing.

But don’t rely on your in-house team alone — only five percent of executives said their company uses solely internal resources to develop, implement, and manage big data strategies. Outsourcing IT talent for big data is a fast and effective way to start reaping the benefits of the latest technologies for your business.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of big data, or find staff who are already well-versed in big data implementation, contact the recruiting experts at The Armada Group today. 

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