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Getting the Right Tools Critical for Big Data

User-centric tools go long way to reaping most benefits from big data projects, says IDG survey

Big data is proving to be like the proverbial 800-pound gorilla -- big and powerful, but difficult to tame and control.

While nearly 90 percent of business and IT leaders agree that big data can be useful in making intelligent business decisions, only one-third of companies have implemented big-data initiatives. That's the finding from a recent International Data Group (IDG) survey, sponsored by Kapow Software.

Furthermore, more than 50 percent of survey respondents said that they had only lukewarm success with getting big data to deliver value in terms of competitive advantage, differentiation, top-line growth, strategic insights, employee productivity and effectiveness, among other business metrics.

Respondents reported that big-data projects take too long, cost too much, and aren't delivering a sufficient return on investment (ROI). Part of this is because these projects require expensive consultants or hard-to-find data scientists. Yet, while this lag in adoption continues, the mass of data from a variety of sources is growing.

Among the barriers to drawing value out of big data, according to survey respondents, are:

  • High cost and complexity. Many business leaders believe such projects require a prohibitively expensive infrastructure. Sixty percent said projects take 18 months or more to complete.

    Despite the current low reliance on big data, adoption is expected to increase over the next 12 months, as business and IT leaders turn to user-centric tools


  • Employee workarounds. Respondents said employees often take matters into their own hands, but without effective solutions, are resorting to manual aggregation. This is putting pressure on IT to automate these efforts.
  • Poor data accessibility. Nearly half of IT leaders said they find it difficult to find, access, and integrate the right information, which is often unstructured and spread among a wide variety of sources.
  • Lacking skills and tools. Big data is proving to be inaccessible by employees without special training, again putting pressure on IT to pave the way.

Despite the current low reliance on big data, adoption is expected to increase over the next 12 months, as business and IT leaders turn to user-centric tools -- such as those provided by Kapow Software. With such tools, IT leaders anticipate improved productivity and a better relationship with the business leaders.

Business leaders surveyed are looking for a variety of benefits from an increased use of big data. They say the following are either "critical" or "very important:"

  • More informed business decision - 80 percent
  • Increased competitive advantage - 71 percent
  • Improved customer satisfaction - 68 percent
  • Increased end-user productivity - 62 percent
  • Improved security or compliance - 60 percent
  • New products and services - 55 percent
  • Monitoring and responding to social media in real time - 33 percent.

For more information on the survey results, go to http://www.slideshare.net/Kapowmarketing/kapow-idg-bigdataidg051513 or http://www.kapowsoftware.com/. [Disclosure: Kapow Software is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

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At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

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