Survey signals big data disconnect; only 12 percent on board

Despite industry hype, most organizations have yet to develop and implement a big data strategy, according to a survey that asked 339 data management professionals about their organizations’ use of data management technology.

Conducted by SAS and SourceMedia, the survey reveals that few organizations are taking advantage of product, customer and other data sources.

Just 12 percent of organizations surveyed are currently executing against a big data strategy in daily operations. The most common reasons others are not fully exploiting their big data:

  • 21 percent don’t know enough about big data.
  • 15 percent don’t understand the benefits.
  • 9 percent lack business support.
  • 9 percent lack data quality in existing systems.

“The 12 percent of organizations that are already planning around big data enjoy a significant competitive advantage,” said Todd Wright, Global Product Marketing Manager for SAS DataFlux Data Quality.

Factors Hindering Efforts

Asked about the likelihood that their organizations would use external big data in 2014, just 14 percent of respondents said “very likely,” while 19 percent responded “not likely at all.” Specific concerns included data quality and accuracy, accessing the right data, reconciling disparate data, lack of organizational view into data, timeliness, compliance, and security.

The survey found no real consensus on who owns the data management strategy, with responses ranging from midlevel IT personnel up to the CEO. This confusion likely causes additional challenges in data strategy development and execution.

Data Management Wish List

Most respondents call detailed data analysis a priority for supporting business decisions, along with increased internal reporting and information access. When asked what they want from data solutions, the number one answer was data visualizations and dashboards (73 percent), data profiling (53 percent), and SaaS (44 percent).

Customer and product data top the data types collected by organizations. The types of customer data being collected to make decisions were business-to-consumer (66 percent), end-customer data (59 percent), citizen data (29 percent) and patient data (23 percent). The product data being collected for decision making included selling-side (62 percent), buying-side (61 percent) and MRO (40 percent).

“Big data or not, data management will help determine which companies thrive and which ones struggle in the years to come,” Wright continued.

French car center network Feu Vert  is one example. With 400 retail outlets in Europe, Over six months, Feu Vert and SAS worked together to create a unique reference data hub using SAS DataFlux Data Management and SAS DataFlux Master Data Management. This project also established a customer data governance program, improved customer data value and qualification, and helped reduce the cost per customer contact.

Feu Vert is improving accuracy and quality of customer data as it secures a market leadership position.