Thursday, September 13, 2012
, the buzzword du jour, has captured the IT industry’s attention with some truly impressive examples of what the future may hold. Consider just a few recent headlines:
While data has always been important to decision-making and problem-solving, something has changed. Today, it is not uncommon to see data described as the currency of the digital economy, suggesting a level of importance and value exponentially higher than ever before. This didn’t happen overnight, but rather through a series of developments in the data itself, in conjunction with innovations in data capture, storage, management and analysis.
Data volumes that were until recently measured in terabytes and petabytes are now measured in exabytes and zettabytes (1 billion terabytes). Research consultancy IDC estimates the volume of world data will reach 2.7 zettabytes
in 2012 and will keep growing at a rapid rate, doubling approximately every two years.
Taken together, these factors have ushered in the era of data. The aptly named Big Data emerges when data reaches extreme volumes, velocities (the speed with which it is created or captured) and varieties (different types of data). While the threshold for what constitutes Big Data continues to evolve, businesses of all types will seek ways to unlock additional value from the data most relevant to them, be it on a large or a small scale.
CompTIA’s recently published “Big Data Insights and Opportunities”
study, based on interviews with nearly 1,000 IT and business executives, confirms a number of points related to data, as well as uncovers a few unexpected findings.
- Despite the growing importance of data, many businesses acknowledge they need to do a much better job leveraging the data at their disposal. Two-thirds of executives agree or strongly agree with the statement “If we could harness all of our data, we would be a much stronger business.”
- The consequences of lagging behind in a data-driven world may become more pronounced. Participants in the CompTIA study cited lower productivity, lack of business agility, internal confusion over priorities and reduced margins due to operational inefficiencies as the top negative consequences of poor execution with managing and analyzing data.
- Despite a lot of media attention, the concept of Big Data remains largely a mystery to many. CompTIA research reveals only four in 10 executives report being very or mostly familiar with Big Data. Familiarity rates are highest within large companies, which makes sense given the higher likelihood of working with datasets at the Big Data threshold.
- Not every business will need a Big Data strategy. But just about every business will need a mechanism to manage, process and make sense of its structured and unstructured data. When asked about areas for improvement, respondents in the CompTIA study mentioned real-time analysis of incoming data, email marketing campaign effectiveness assessments, customer profiling and predictive analytics and forecasting at the highest rates.
The full report, “Big Data Insights and Opportunities,”
is available at no charge to CompTIA members. The study covers the dual perspective of end users and IT channel firms. CompTIA members access the report by logging into the member area of CompTIA.org
, or, by contacting us at email@example.com