Recognition of the potential benefits offered by big data analytics is widespread, but despite this, many companies have yet to take clear actions to make the most of the technology.

This is according to a survey conducted among attendees of the recent V3 Big Data Summit, which revealed conflicting attitudes to the use of analytics.

Almost a third of respondents (31 per cent) view these tools as useful for improving their customer insights. Meanwhile, 27 per cent agreed they would help overall business performance, with the same number stating the technology will help them make use of new data sources, such as social media posts.

However, nearly a quarter admitted they do not fully understand the software tools needed to make the most of big data, while 22 per cent lack the technical skills. However, despite this being a common problem, just 15 per cent of businesses have hired data scientists or statisticians with expertise in this field.

"This might suggest that firms do not yet feel the need to hire new staff, or are unable to find the right sort of skilled personnel needed for this new and evolving area of business process," V3 stated.

The study also revealed that almost six out of ten companies (58 per cent) do not believe they need processes in place that can perform real-time analytics. This indicates that many businesses remain unaware of how these solutions can make them more forward-looking.

V3 noted: "While many organisations are now aware of big data tools and are taking steps to incorporate them into business processes, many others do not yet fully grasp how big data can augment existing processes and create new transformational opportunities."    

This will be increasingly true in the coming years, as Internet of Things technology becomes more commonplace. This is expected to create huge amounts of data that is likely to be highly valuable to enterprises – provided they can effectively leverage this using real-time and predictive analytics.