BI vendor suggests there’s a big data disconnect

A new study on big data indicates that the marketplace for big data solutions has not materialized as most predicted.

Cary, N.C.-based business intelligence software vendor SAS, along with its research partner SourceMedia, surveyed 339 data management professionals about their organization’s use of data management technology. The results show that despite the industry hype, most organizations have yet to develop and implement a big data strategy.

Just 12 per cent of organizations surveyed are currently executing against a big data strategy in daily operations. The most common reasons others are not fully exploiting their big data are:

  • 21 percent don’t know enough about big data.
  • 15 percent don’t understand the benefits.
  • 9 percent lack business support.
  • 9 percent lack data quality in existing systems.

Todd Wright, global product marketing manager for SAS, said the 12 per cent of organizations that are already planning around big data enjoy a significant competitive advantage.

Asked about the likelihood that their organizations would use external big data in 2014, just 14 per cent of respondents said “very likely,” while 19 per cent responded “not likely at all.” Specific concerns included data quality and accuracy, accessing the right data, reconciling disparate data, lack of organizational view into data, timeliness, compliance, and security.

The survey found no real consensus on who owns the data management strategy, with responses ranging from mid-level IT personnel up to the CEO. This confusion likely causes additional challenges in data strategy development and execution.

Most respondents call detailed data analysis a priority for supporting business decisions, along with increased internal reporting and information access. When asked what they want from data solutions, the No. 1 answer was data visualizations and dashboards (73 per cent), data profiling (53 per cent), and SaaS (44 per cent).

Customer and product data top the data types collected by organizations. The types of customer data being collected to make decisions were business-to-consumer (66 per cent), end-customer data (59 per cent), citizen data (29 per cent) and patient data (23 per cent). The product data being collected for decision-making included selling-side (62 per cent), buying-side (61 per cent) and MRO (40 per cent).

Wright added that Big data or not, data management will help determine which companies thrive and which ones struggle in the years to come. French car center network Feu Vert is one example. With 400 retail outlets in Europe, Over six months, Feu Vert and SAS worked together to create a unique reference data hub using SAS DataFlux Data Management and SAS DataFlux Master Data Management. This project also established a customer data governance program, improved customer data value and qualification, and helped reduce the cost per customer contact. Feu Vert is improving accuracy and quality of customer data as it secures a market leadership position.

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