Media, communications and banking lead the charge to big data
Investment in big data continues to rise in 2013 according to a new survey by Gartner with 64 percent of companies investing or planning to invest compared to 58 percent in 2012.
The survey of 720 Gartner Research Circle members worldwide, which was conducted in June 2013, was designed to examine organizations' technology investment plans around big data.
Industries leading the way with big data investments are media and communications, banking, and services. Among media and communications organizations 39 percent say that they have already invested in big data, followed by 34 percent of banking organizations and 32 percent of services firms. Planned investments during the next two years are highest for transportation (50 percent), healthcare (41 percent) and insurance (40 percent).
On a regional level North America continues to lead investments with 38 percent of organizations surveyed saying that they have invested in technology specifically designed to address the big data challenge. Asia/Pacific organizations were notably ambitious with 45 percent indicating that they plan to invest during the next two years.
Despite the enthusiasm, however, most organizations take a tentative approach to investment, beginning with knowledge gathering and pilot schemes before embarking on a major rollout.
"For big data, 2013 is the year of experimentation and early deployment," says Frank Buytendijk, research vice president at Gartner. "Adoption is still at the early stages with less than eight percent of all respondents indicating their organization has deployed big data solutions. Twenty percent are piloting and experimenting, 18 percent are developing a strategy, 19 percent are knowledge gathering, while the remainder has no plans or don't know".
When it comes to the uses of big data the survey reveals that there are a wide range of business problems being addressed, although there are some clear patterns. In Gartner's 2012 and 2013 studies, business cases that improve process efficiency and business cases centered around customer experience dominate big data wish lists. In the 2013 survey, 55 percent of organizations say that they are currently addressing enhanced customer experience using big data, while 49 percent are using big data to address process efficiency.
Slightly concerning is that for 15 percent of organizations surveyed the major challenge was understanding what big data is. Nick Huedecker, research director at Gartner says, "Perhaps unsurprisingly, this concern came mainly from respondents with no plans to invest. Organizations should be sure they are educated about big data opportunities in their industry to ensure they are not missing the boat".