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Marketers Try to Make Sense of Big Data

Lack of overall big data strategy and insufficient technical skills hold many back

May 11, 2016

The concept of “big data” gets plenty of attention from marketers, and for those who have been able to make use of it, there are a variety of benefits. However, according to a survey by advisory and risk management firm DNV GL and GfK Eurisko, many organizations are still struggling to determine how best to apply the philosophy to their own businesses.

Big Data-Related Actions Taken by Their Company According to Big Data Professionals Worldwide, by Region, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

According to DNV GL’s February 2016 survey of more than 1,000 professionals worldwide from across a wide variety of industry sectors, many companies have taken just one action—or none at all—with regards to big data. Close to 50% said they had taken ”at least one” action, referring to big data activity like enhancing information management or integrating new big data technologies and methods. However, more than 34% of respondents said there had been “no actions undertaken so far” by their companies, suggesting many firms still struggle to understand how to apply big data to their operations.

When asked about barriers impeding their organizations from taking advantage of big data, more than 24% of respondents mentioned obstacles like a lack of an overall strategy, while more than 23% mentioned insufficient technical skills.

Barriers to Taking Advantage of Big Data According to Big Data Professionals Worldwide, by Region, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

The same challenges with big data also extend to how most organizations handle and use their information, with topics like data management and security on many professionals’ minds. In DNV GL’s survey, more than 40% of professionals mentioned data quality, data retrieval and data security as high or fairly high challenges.

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