Canadian businesses need big help with big data

There’s opportunity for channel partners to help their clients turn big data hype into big data reality, according to new a new report from market research firm IDC Canada.

The report, sponsored by business analytics vendor SAS Institute, found that while 96 per cent of Canadian companies agree the ability to process and act on data in real time is important, only 48 per cent have invested in the technology to make it real.

A winning strategy for partners may be to elevate the big data discussion into the C-suite, and have a discussion of the business case with the CIO. The report found mid-level IT managers were six times more likely than their international peers to have the primary responsibility for their company’s data strategy.

Available data that could lead to better decisions is going unused, the report also found. While 76 per cent of organizations are using internally-produced data, but other potentially valuable sources of information – social media, at 32.7 per cent, or web data, at 34.7 per cent – are largely untapped.

“Organizations that have begun to embrace Big Data technology and approaches are demonstrating that they can gain competitive advantage by being able to take action based on timely, relevant, complete, and accurate information, rather than guesswork. Meanwhile the challenges of data management and analytics in the intelligent economy are likely to overwhelm organizations that are not conversant with Big Data technologies,” said Nigel Wallis, research director for IDC, in a statement. “For Canadian organizations to take full advantage of the transformative potential of their data, they need to approach it strategically.”

In an interview with IT World Canada, SAS Americas executive vice-president Carl Farrell indicated investment in real-time analytics is necessary for businesses to ride the big data wave.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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