Big Data could help Asia Pacific companies increase revenue by 25%

New research released by Hitachi Data Systems reveals that almost half of the firms surveyed in Asia Pacific believe that big data can improve revenue by 25% or more, with HDS projecting a potential US$250 billion revenue increase among the more than 500 companies surveyed. However, more than half of firms have made little or no progress in their Big Data strategies.

Executives at HDS believe it is essential for business executives to adopt a new approach where they think of “data as a capital asset” and to define a holistic big data strategy that will deliver insights and intelligence. This change in focus will enable organizations to innovate with information and generate incremental income.

“Today, most organizations have a limited data-capital ‘budget ‘that prevents them from realizing the full potential of the information they hold,” said Neville Vincent, senior vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific, HDS.“Staff members long for more information and realize its revenue potential, but lack access to it. It is time for C-level executives to ensure cultural alignment throughout their organizations, and to treat data like a capital asset that can bring a significant impact to their business.”

“Our vision is for businesses of all shapes and sizes to use advanced technologies to realize the value of their organization’s data. Members of the IT department need to be involved in the business planning cycle much earlier and more tightly integrated to the business in order to deliver essential information and insights to the people who can use it to drive business innovation and realize incremental income,” added Vincent.

Slow Adoption but Promising Benefits of Big Data

The survey results were published in an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Asia Pacific Big Data Survey, sponsored by HDS, titled The Hype and the Hope:The Road to Big Data Adoption in AsiaPacific. The survey was conducted with over 500business executives in Asia Pacific. Results show that Asia Pacific firms have had limited success so far in implementing big data practices. While a third say they are well advanced, more than half say they have made only limited progress. Some 80% of front-line employees said that they believe improved access to data is critical, with only 19% able to access the data they need.

Despite the lack of progress, respondents believe in the ability of big data to improve their businesses: more than 70% say that it can deliver gains in productivity, profitability, and innovation.

The reasons for slow adoption of big data strategies are diverse. Respondents cite poor internal communication and information sharing as well as a lack of in-house skills and software. Nearly two-fifths say their company’s big data strategy has not been well communicated. The limited take-up also flies in the face of the wider belief that effective use of data matters; more than three-quarters believe it is critical to success.

Telecommunications (67%), consumer goods (57%) and financial services (52%) industries are leaders in recognizing that big data can greatly improve their understanding of customer needs. However, more than 60% of the firms in the financial services and consumer goods industries haven’t started any big data programs. Healthcare and life science are lagging further behind; 72% of them haven’t started any big data programs.

Approaches to Improve Big Data Adoption

HDS believes that organizations have to address the issues and maximize the value of big data by turning it into business intelligence.

According to HDS, C-level executives should realize the significant impact of Big Data on their revenue and competitiveness, and take ownership for defining a big data strategy. Organizations should adopt policies that help break down silos, improve internal communications, and establish advanced technology platforms that can support information management and analysis.

IT departments need to be involved in the business planning cycle earlier and more tightly integrated to the business in order to translate data into intelligence, and increase the return on data capital assets. IT contributions are measurable and have a real impact on increasing revenue outcome. Understanding the real business needs and delivering intelligence by using the right technologies and technology partners not only enables sophisticated analysis, but also delivers a high level of automation that can offload the burden of daily operations.

“Taking advantage of big data is not an information technology but a sound business practice,” said Vincent.“The future success of organizations will depend on business owners being able to define their own big data strategies and on IT serving up the needed intelligence.”