Firms still failing to get value from Big Data

News Maxwell Cooter Jun 13, 2013

While the arguments stack up, companies still aren’t getting the most value out of Big Data, according to HDS

The majority of businesses are not geared up to make proper use of their Big Data investments and more than half of all organisations are making decisions based on inaccurate information.

So Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), which has just published research highlighting that businesses looking to tap into the move to Big Data analytics are struggling to work effectively thanks to the inadequacies of their existing, siloed systems.

Smart use of Big Data turns it into an asset for positive change, rather than a drain on resources.

More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of organisations have inadequate infrastructure to offer real-time analysis, the survey, Route to Real Time, conducted by research company Vanson Bourne on behalf of HDS, found.

It’s not the volume that organisations are fighting to cope with, however, but the need to process everything in real time, according to Hicham Abdessamad,  HDS’ senior vice president of global services.

“Financial companies are really struggling - microseconds matter to these organisations,” Abdessamad said. This opinion was backed up by the survey, with 21 per cent of respondents saying their organisations could not pull out the relevant data in real time.

Traditional IT is proving to be a real barrier. David Merrill, chief economist at HDS, said that companies were trying to build Big Data projects on existing IT infrastructure. “You can't do Big Data on existing IT,” he said, “You can't put two petabytes, five petabytes on top - it just won't work.”

Companies are aware of the limitations. One third of companies that have implemented Big Data technology claim they could not cope with both structured and unstructured data, while 53 per cent said they were at risk of making critical decisions based on old or inaccurate data.

While it is clear there is a growing interest in Big Data, companies just aren’t set up to explore the potential, according to Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at Quocirca.

“While most have latched onto the concept of large volumes of data, many struggle with gaining insight in a sufficiently timely fashion from the breadth of information available,” he said.

“Smart use of Big Data turns it into an asset for positive change, rather than a drain on resources.”