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Cultural Challenges Impact Success Of Big Data Initiatives

MUMBAI, India, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The toughest challenges for businesses implementing Big Data initiatives is getting different business units to share information across organisational silos and determining what data to use for different business decisions according to The Emerging Big Returns from Big Data global trend report. These two cultural challenges were being closely followed by the technological challenge of being able to handle the large volume, velocity and variety of Big Data 1. Commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), the leading IT services, consulting and business solutions firm, the research also reveals how the Big Data leaders 2 differ from the laggards 3 and the returns business are expecting. 

Satya Ramaswamy, Vice President and Global Head of Mobility and Next Gen Solutions in TCS comments: "Big Data has enormous potential and early adopters are projecting a high ROI on investments. However, overcoming the technological challenges is only part of the story.  Businesses need to carefully think where Big Data initiatives should sit within the organisation, how to break down internal silos and look beyond just internal and structured data sets. To realise the full potential of Big Data, businesses also need to consider the potential cultural changes within the organisation to speed-up its adoption."

Leaders and laggardsLeaders in Big Data differ most from the laggards in three main ways – where they analyse and process Big Data, the mix of data they use and their Big Data spend.

  • Leaders in Big Data are doing analysis outside of business units (BUs), 79% of them are using the IT function or a separate Big Data team, with only 21% doing the analysis in BUs. The laggards on the other hand are doing only 68% of their analysis outside of the BUs.
  • The leaders are also using more unstructured and semi-structured data (55%), and external data (37%), than the laggards who are using 46% unstructured and semi-structured data, and 26% external data.
  • The most marked difference is that leaders spent $24 million in 2012 and expect to spend $26 million by 2015, whereas the laggards spent $7 million in 2012 and expect to spend $13 million by 2015.

Regardless of whether they're leaders or laggards, nearly half (44%) of Big Data investments are going to business functions on the revenue side: sales, marketing and R&D/new product development. Much less (24%) is going to back-office functions: IT, finance and HR.

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