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Big Data Trend Prompts Businesses of All Sizes to Evaluate Data Needs, New CompTIA Research Reveals

Sep 18, 2013

Second annual study finds progress, but much work remains

Downers Grove, Ill., September 18, 2013 – The big data phenomenon has companies of all sizes re-evaluating methods and strategies for managing and using data, according to new research released today by CompTIA, the non-profit association for the information technology (IT) industry.

CompTIA’s second annual Big Data Insights and Opportunities study confirms growing familiarity with the concepts surrounding big data, which has sparked greater levels of interest across the C-suite. A full 78 percent of organizations say they feel more positive about big data as a business initiative this year compared to a year ago.

“Data has always been important in the business world, but the big data trend has elevated its importance, pushing companies to be smarter in how they manage and use data,” noted Tim Herbert, vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA.

With greater focus and resources devoted to data, more companies believe they’ve made progress: 57 percent say they are either very close or exactly where they want to be in data management and utilization. That’s up from 37 percent the year before.

But the research also indicates most companies still have room for improvement.

“While the threshold for what constitutes big data continues to evolve, businesses of all sizes will seek ways to unlock additional value from the data that’s most relevant to them, be it on a large or small scale,” said Herbert.

Nearly eight in ten executives cite the need for better real-time analytics and improvement in converting data into actionable intelligence. Additionally, eight out of ten firms report having some degree of data silos in their organization. The number of firms reporting a high degree of silos grew from 16 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2013.

Businesses participating in the CompTIA study said shortcomings in managing and using data can impact a business in several ways, including:

• Wasted time that could be spent in other areas of the business.
• Internal confusion over priorities.
• Inefficient or slow decision-making and a lack of agility.
• Inability to effectively assess staff performance.
• Lost sales and reduced margins due to operational inefficiencies.

Addressing Skills Gaps
Emerging technologies associated with big data provide an expanding set of tools for aggregating, storing, processing and analyzing data. Companies seeking to get the most out of these advances will need to address the human side of the equation, too.

Six in ten respondents in the study acknowledge a need to boost employee skill levels on the technical or business side of data management and analysis. Sixty-six percent of firms plan to invest in training for current employees, while 43 percent signal intent to hire new workers with data-specific expertise.

“As executives across the organization drive data initiatives, new roles may emerge that incorporate elements of IT, business analyst, researcher and behavioral economist,” said Herbert.

IT Channel Perspectives
CompTIA research indicates growing momentum with big data-related offerings among IT firms in the channel. Nearly one in three channel partners report providing big data application deployment or integration services. Over the next 12 months an additional 14 percent expect to offer big data consulting or advisory services.

IT firms plan to take a range of actions to better position themselves to capitalize on big data [and small data] opportunities. Top strategies include investing in technical training; investigating partner programs and/or aligning with big data vendors; hiring staff with big data expertise; and looking for partnership opportunities.

CompTIA’s second annual Big Data Insights and Opportunities study was conducted in two parts. End user data was collected via an online survey in June 2013 among 500 U.S. business and IT executives responsible for technical or strategic decisions affecting data at their company. Channel data was collected via an online survey in April 2013 of 500 executives at U.S. IT firms, with most having some level of involvement in the IT channel.

The complete report is available at no cost to CompTIA members who can access the file at www.CompTIA.org or by contacting research@comptia.org

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. To learn more, visit http://www.comptia.org/home.aspx, http://www.facebook.com/CompTIA and twitter.com/comptia.

Contact:
Steven Ostrowski
CompTIA
630-678-8468
sostrowski@comptia.org