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There is no question that businesses see the value in Big Data—but putting that info to work is a different story. According to a June 2013 survey from compTIA, an IT industry association, more than 78% of US business and IT executives agreed that if they could harness their data, they’d be a much stronger business. And nearly as many said data was one of their firm’s greatest assets. But just slightly fewer respondents—73%—also conceded that converting the volumes of data into actionable intelligence remained a challenge.
The primary goal execs see Big Data serving is helping improve the customer experience. That was the top response among IT and business leaders worldwide in a June 2013 survey from Gartner, followed by achieving process efficiency. In this study as well, putting Big Data to work was the biggest challenge posed by the information onslaught.
Other top goals among respondents included using data to determine what new products to release or new business models to use, as well as how to create more targeted marketing.
The value of Big Data may be evident to business leaders across industries, but some have moved faster than others to incorporate data into their strategy. In the Gartner survey, the media and communications category led as the industry most likely to have already invested in Big Data, at 35%, and within the next one to two years, 61% total expected to be invested.
Banking followed right behind media and communications, with 34% having invested in Big Data, and another 24% expecting to invest in the near term. Surprisingly, retail was toward the bottom of the list of industries already implementing Big Data. The ecommerce sector is a huge and growing area for retail, and Big Data has a potentially significant role to play in the online shopping customer experience. As of the survey, 26% of respondents from the retail industry had invested in Big Data, and 39% planned to invest in the next couple of years.
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