Key big data questions ‘going unanswered’

Many businesses may be failing to answer key questions that would enable them to get the most out of the growing amount of data they have available.

This is according to KPMG, which observed that for many organizations, the difficulty lies in how to best use big data analytics to turn the assets they collect into useable information. It was noted many companies are currently unsure of how to make the jump from being a collector of data to a user of insight.

In fact, recent research by the firm estimates that just one in ten companies are considered to be “masters of their data”. The result of this is many enterprises are facing stagnation as they are unable to tame the growing volume of business intelligence information and align this with their business objectives.

Eddie Short, head of data and analytics at KPMG, said one of the biggest problems facing boardrooms is a growing mismatch between the expectations of C-level executives as to what can be achieved with data analytics and the actual capabilities of their business.

“The leadership, in many organisations, is increasingly demanding that data collection extends beyond customer and competitor intelligence, but at the same time they have accepted that it will take much more than capital investment and new software packages to turn data into lasting value,” he said.

Mr Short added that collecting data for its own sake only increases the risk that an organization will drown under a sea of information it cannot interpret. Therefore, the true test of analytics solutions should be how well they keep companies focused on its core objectives and helps achieve these.

Particularly in the current climate of tightened cash-flows, data analytics need to be able to highlight clearly what products and services are not performing effectively and how these can be improved to offer the best solutions for customers in order to be successful.

“Three years from now it will be the businesses who have answered these questions by combining their hunger for data with an appetite to match it with the needs of their business who will win the day and become masters of their own data,” Mr Short said.