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Big data is big. It's been making the media rounds now for years, and marketers are using it more widely than ever. They report it's making a difference across a host of areas in their business—but by most accounts, it's not changing things at a fundamental level.
When Accenture polled executives worldwide in April 2014 about the areas where big data was having the biggest effect on their business, just 5% said its primary effect was fundamentally changing the way they did business. About a quarter put that answer in their top three.
Respondents were much more likely to say big data was making major waves in impacting customer relationships, redefining product development and operational organization—answers that ranged across many business functions, but still didn't add up to a basic shift in business practices, according to respondents.
In spite of this, the same survey found that respondents typically expected big data would transform their worlds.
Fully 89% of executives told Accenture they thought big data would "revolutionize the way we do business" as much as the advent of the internet had done, including more than half of the total who strongly agreed with that statement. Strong majorities foresaw other big changes as well.
What it will take to get from the dream to the reality, though, remains to be seen.
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