Businesses lack skills to make full use of ‘Big Data Boom’

Nov 22, 2018 | Digital marketing skills

Less than one in five business leaders currently rate their big data stack as ‘optimal’, according to new research.

Three quarters of businesses (74%) expect their big data stack to drive reliable, useful, and profitable business applications by the end of 2019, according to new research from Unravel Data, the application performance management (APM) platform designed for big data applications. But only 12 per cent are seeing this value at the moment.

The study from Unravel and Sapio Research found that around half of business leaders (49%) see a definite lack of skills and experience in developing apps and analytics for big data, suggesting that most organisations are some way from realizing big data’s business value.

Although 84 per cent of respondents claim their big data projects usually deliver on expectations, only 17 per cent currently rate the performance of their big data stack as ‘optimal’. And there are stark differences between how managers and senior teams see their big data stacks: 13 per cent of VPs, directors and C-suite members report their stack only meets half of its KPIs, but more than double the number of managers (29%) say the same.

It also seems businesses aren’t yet using big data applications to grow their businesses, instead seeing protection and compliance as the most worthwhile goals. The top four most profitable and effective uses of big data currently, according to business leaders, are cybersecurity intelligence (42%); risk, regulatory, compliance reporting (41%); predictive analytics for preventative maintenance (35%); and fraud detection and prevention (35%).

“Most organisations have high hopes for what big data applications can do for them – and rightly so,” said Kunal Agarwal, CEO, Unravel Data. “But reliable performance is still some way off, which could delay the benefits businesses hunger after. The challenge now is to ensure the big data stack performs reliably and efficiently, so the next generation of applications, across analytics, AI and Machine Learning, can deliver on those aspirations.
“Only then might we see organisations flip their mindset from thinking of big data as fuel for defensive activities, like cyber-security and compliance, to seeing it as a catalyst for business growth.”

Further findings from Unravel’s research:

  • Cost reduction is the biggest expected benefit for big data applications, cited by 41% of respondents, followed by faster application release timings (37%)
  • 78% of organisations are already running big data workloads in the cloud, and 82% have a strategy to move existing big data applications into the cloud
  • Only one in five have an ‘all cloud’ strategy, with more than half (54%) using a mix of cloud and on-premise applications
  • Data analysis is the top priority for improvement, cited by 43% of respondents. This is followed by data transformation (39%) and data visualization (37%)
  • 99% of business leaders report that their big data projects on delivering on business goals at least ‘some of the time’

Unravel radically simplifies the tuning and optimisation of modern big data applications and infrastructure. With a single view of performance across platforms – whether on-premise, hybrid, or cloud – and automated recommendations through machine learning, DevOps can more easily meet SLA’s and deliver against business expectations.

About the research

The survey was conducted among 200 IT Decision Makers involved in big data that working in organisations employing 1000 people or more. The interviews were conducted online by Sapio Research in October 2018 using an email invitation and an online survey.

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