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Business leadership ‘crucial’ to big data success

Ensuring that business units understand and are on board with the goals of big data analytics deployments will be among the keys to success for these projects, as engaging with the technology should no longer be seen as solely the preserve of the IT department.

This was one of the key points made by Computing's Graeme Burton in the keynote address at the company's recent Big Data Summit 2014. He told an audience in London that the industry is now at a tipping point where it is no longer just pioneers that are adopting the technology, but also more conventional organizations.

"We are seeing more use cases, a better and more detailed understanding of the possibilities offered by linking different types of data at scale, and the emergence of enterprise-class technologies to allow this to be done." he stated.

Because more firms are putting their plans into action, how they deal with this will be one of the key differentiators that separate the most successful projects from those that do not deliver the required results. And Mr Burton said engagement from business leadership plays a central role in this.

He highlighted figures that show 27 per cent of the most advanced companies involve these personnel prominently, compared with just eight per cent for less well-developed firms. Some 44 per cent of more advanced users said their overall business strategy is to find new opportunities by making the most their data, as opposed to just 28 per cent of less advanced firms.

Having a clear vision about how data will play a role in the company is also an essential part of becoming an advanced organization, it was stated. This means all parts of the company being able to look ahead, spot the opportunities and collaborate on a plan to take advantage of these.

With regards to information, Mr Burton said close governance is a must – businesses need to know what data they have and where it is, as well as what other assets are available that can be combined with existing data to derive insight.

"It certainly isn't just dumping everything into Hadoop and hoping rays of insight will start magically shining out," the speaker said.