NZ firms struggle to realise business value with unstructured data: survey

Companies across New Zealand are struggling to realise the business value of rising unstructured data volumes, even as 80 per cent of executives in the country consider the growth and complexity of data to be a key challenge.

This according to an IDC survey, titled ‘Driving Smart Data Management,’ commissioned by CommVault.

The survey found that New Zealand organisations are managing the largest amount of data in the region, with 38 percent of companies managing more than 50 TB of data.

Around 50 percent of all New Zealand organisations are expecting data growth of as much as 20-50 percent in 2014, compared to an average of 39 percent across all of Asia Pacific that are expecting the same 20-50 percent data growth.

However, the survey found a large discrepancy between the amount of data growth across New Zealand organisations and the level of analysis that is being applied, especially when considering semi-structured and unstructured data.

Across all New Zealand organisations, 86 percent capture transactional data and only 73 percent of it will be analysed. Discrepancies were seen between the capture and analysis of semi-structured and unstructured data generated via audio (43 percent versus 25 percent) and video (53 percent versus 35 percent).

Bryan Stibbard, area VP for A/NZ, CommVault, said, “Unstructured data comprises the constant stream of information generated from everyday interactions via email and social media on mobile devices, to monitoring equipment, scientific research, and medical and government record.

“The most critical element is being able to identify what that data is and where it resides within an organisation. That enables knowing what data should be kept and what should be discarded.”

The survey also found that New Zealand organisations are spreading critical business data across a combination of multiple locations, legacy physical systems and cloud-based services, adding to the complexity of ingesting, protecting and accessing information.

The whitepaper suggests that in order to derive value from data across these increasingly disparate tiers and physical locations, it is critical that data be transitioned into a single, universally accessible store.

According to Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, IDC senior program manager of big data and analytics, data management and enterprise applications, “The real opportunity exists in combining internal sources of data, like customer data, with external sources like social networking and location. This can help organizations gain a holistic view of their customer transactions and circumstances, enabling them to understand preferences, habits, and future requirements — all in context.

“ANZ organizations are among the most mature in the region, and they are now becoming more focused on utilizing their data to the fullest extent possible, but the lack of skill sets, optimal tools, and gaps in processes still present challenges.”

The IDC survey was conducted in January 2014 and the results are based on responses provided by 505 IT decision-maker respondents across APAC.