Big Success With Big Data

by March 13, 2015 0 comments

Big Data proves to be a catalyst towards digital transformation of the enterprises. According to a new Accenture Analytics survey, a vast majority (92%) are satisfied with the business outcomes and 94% feel that their Big Data initiative is meeting their needs. Read more about the key findings of the survey
– Compiled by Preeti Gaur
Accenture Analytics surveyed more than 1,000 respondents from companies operating across seven industries and headquartered in 19 countries that had completed at least one big data implementation. Companies that had not completed at least one big data installation were not included in the results. More than 4,300 targets were screened; 36 percent have not completed nor are currently pursuing a big data installation while nearly four percent were currently implementing their first big data project. A total of 1,007 respondents completed the survey. Following are the key findings of the survey.
Big data is taking off
Big data is clearly delivering significant value to users who have actually completed a project, according to the survey results. Enterprises that have completed at least one project are very satisfied with their initial forays into big data.

initial-satisfaction

The vast majority (92 percent) of all users report they are satisfied with business outcomes, and 94 percent feel their big data implementation meets their needs.
Importance of Big Data
Larger companies are more likely than others to regard big data as extremely important and central to their digital strategy.

importance-of-big-data
While a significant number of organisations may still be standing on the sidelines, big data users who start and complete projects see practical results and significant value.
Organisations perceive big data to be critical for a wide spectrum of strategic corporate goals, from new revenue generation and new market development to enhancing the customer experience and improving enterprise-wide performance.
Bigger companies are getting more from big data
Larger companies turn out to be among the biggest beneficiaries of initial big data implementations. Larger organisations are leading the way by starting with focused initiatives, rather than trying to do everything at once. The bigger the organisation, the better the results, perhaps because they bring more to the table.
•    A deeper understanding of big data’s scope and sources of value.
•    A serious focus on practical applications and business outcomes.
•    Greater commitment in budget and talent.
•    A keener appreciation of the importance and disruptive power of big data.
Users in larger companies are gaining significantly by starting small and staying realistic with their expectations, helped by frequent, direct CIO involvement and strong c-suite support. Rather than attempting to do everything at once, they focus resources around proving value in one area, and then letting the results cascade across the wider enterprise. The mantra here could be ‘start local, end global,’ as users focus on practical applications such as customer support, build internal support, and concentrate on the desired outcomes.
Big data demands broad learning
Initially users think that big data projects will be easy, but later on discover that there is a lot to learn about data as an asset and about analytics.
While many organisations are only beginning to explore initial projects, they find big data presents big challenges:
•    Many companies have different definitions of big data.
•    Varied expectations persist, from the prospect of large immediate cost-savings to mistaken notions about the cost of implementation.
•    Among the various obstacles faced are the lack of talent, security issues and budget concerns.
Many organisations hold varying views of data sources and uses. Valuable data sources are omitted or overlooked. Differing perceptions about the scope and benefits of big data remain to be clarified:
•    More than one-third of users (36 percent) think big data requires an extremely big investment.
•    A roughly equal percentage (37 percent) thinks organisations can achieve extremely large cost-savings with big data.
•    One in four (26 percent) believe companies are required to implement big data all at once across the enterprise.
Main Challenges with Big Data
Many users imagine big data initiatives will be easy until they confront challenges from security and budget to talent, or the lack of it. More than four in ten (41 percent) reported a lack of appropriately skilled resources, and almost as many (37 percent) felt they did not have the talent to run big data and analytics on an ongoing basis. Assembling the requisite expertise becomes a key success factor for many projects.

Main-Challenges-with-Big-Data
External Resources to address Big Data challenges
With big data talent in short supply, successful users source skills wherever they can find them, leaning heavily on external, experienced resources. With so many organisations simultaneously competing for big data skills, sourcing talent is undeniably difficult.
•    More than half of respondents (57 percent) leveraged the help of consultants, 45 percent used contract employees and 34 percent used technology vendor resources.
•    Organisations that relied on consultants, contractors and other external resources found their big data installations to be easier than those using only internal resources.
The big data skills shortage is likely to persist in the near term, which companies cannot overcome through hiring alone. To address the talent shortage crisis and other challenges, companies resort to a spectrum of strategies.

External-Resources-to-address
•    Nearly all (91 percent) companies expect to increase their data science expertise, the majority within the next year.
•    Training, workshops and research are used to address the talent challenge by developing skills internally.
Successful big data practitioners are leveraging big data and big data technologies to drive business outcomes. An outcome focus requires an ability to mobilise data from across the enterprise. That data then needs to be understood in its value. In order to understand which data is important and which data is not, enterprises require a discipline to govern it so that it maintains its currency in the enterprise.
As more data is available, it demands to be quantified, quickly. New methods and approaches for data discovery mean analytic-driven insights are generated in weeks or months. Agile approaches are employed to drive rapid and demonstrable progress. Working with big data necessarily places companies in a sphere that is potentially rich with inadvertent discovery and innovation.
Understanding business use cases and data usage patterns (the people and things that consume data) provides crucial evidence into the appropriate solutions, technologies and approaches that will be used to deliver results. Multiple solutions exist for any given big data challenge, so it is vital to remain open to the possibilities, and become a learning enterprise by testing extensively, learning what works best, then refining and moving forward. Big data pioneers have honed their capacity to test everything and learn quickly, while other companies are emulating these practices.
Big data is definitely disruptive, potentially transformational
The consensus is clear: big data brings disruption that can revolutionise business. Expectations about big data among survey respondents convey the potentially life-or-death competitive threat, as well as the enormous transformational potential created by big data.
A vast majority of users (89 percent) believe big data will revolutionise business operations in the same way the Internet did. Nearly as many (85 percent) feel big data will dramatically change the way they do business. Almost eight in ten users (79 percent) agree that companies that do not embrace big data will lose their competitive position and may even face extinction. Even more (83 percent) have pursued big data projects in order to seize a competitive edge.
Early adopters see competitive advantage in big data, and are rapidly moving to disrupt their own data practices, rather than let competitors beat them to the punch. Users see a new competitive weapon in play across industries and geographies, from businesses such as financial services and insurance, to practitioners such as postal services and governments.
Big Data Investment in Near Future
Companies are moving rapidly to take advantage of new technologies that move, mine and consume increasingly diverse data from an ever larger array of sources and sensors, driving outcomes sooner with greater impact than anyone imagined. Users are structuring projects and expecting results in weeks or months, rather than losing years in the design phase. The result is –
•    An exponentially more complex and challenging environment: architectures and analysis are always on.

organization-planning
•    Vast volumes of data are being continuously gathered and must be consumed and analysed at speed.
•    More data means more noise around meaningful signals.
All of this helps to explain such strong user expectation that spending on data science expertise will increase in the near term. Ninety-one percent of users report plans to build out or increase their current data science expertise soon and the larger the company, the sooner they plan to invest, 69 percent within the coming year for companies greater than $10 billion.
Potential for Transformation
The users believe that over the next 5 years, Big Data will have a significant impact on
•    Customers Relationships (63%),
•    Redefining Product Development (58%),
•    Changing Operations (56%).
The cumulative effect of introducing big data technologies and practices into the enterprise result in transformational change. In practice, big data impacts central functions across the enterprise, from customer relationships and product development to operations. Companies typically need new enterprise IT architectures to work with vast volumes of data at speed. Organisations have to become more data-focused, assemble and acquire the skills needed to manage data at speed and at scale.
Users welcome the disruption because they suspect that if they don’t harness the power of big data first, a known competitor or a company not even in their market today could attack tomorrow. Moreover, barriers to entry are being dramatically reduced by IT efficiencies and the advantages conferred by analytics and big data.
Source: Accenture Big Success with Big Data Survey

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