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Three-quarters of firms ‘still not in production’ with big data

Three out of four firms that are looking to adopt big data analytics tools have yet to successfully reach the production stage with their initiatives, despite investment in the technology continuing to grow.

This is according to new research from Lavastorm, which revealed that although 65 per cent of firms have increased their spending on data analytics tools, many are yet to see results that affect how their business operates.

Only 12.5 percent of respondents stated their company has completed several big data projects that are now in production, while 73 percent of business and data analysts are not currently using big data tools or do not know what big data tools are being used by their company – though this falls to 39 percent among specialist data scientists.

Lavastorm observed this is indicative of a market that is still maturing – with many enterprises still sitting on the sidelines waiting to see how the technology develops while they evaluate their options.

Chief executive of the firm Drew Rockwell said that while more businesses than ever are committing to implementing big data analytics, "far too many" are still struggling to understand how best to maximise the technology and turn it to their advantage.

"These survey results underpin how investing in analytics is just the first step. It's organizations that go the next level by removing complexities from the analytics process and empowering others in the organization, namely business analysts, that are going be able to turn data insights into actionable business enhancements for long-term success," he added.

However, the findings – which also revealed one in five companies indicated they are "significantly" increasing the amount of resources they devote to big data – indicate that analytics and business intelligence solutions will remain a top priority for chief information officers in 2014 and beyond.

In order to get the most out of this, Lavastorm stated that companies must involve all personnel in the process – not just data scientists. At present, too many business analysts remain in the dark when it comes to big data, with the survey pointing out that often, such schemes are viewed as science projects rather than activities with the potential to impact on business decision.

Lavastorm said that this approach will not lead to success, as the best results come only when business units are heavily involved in the planning and deployment of analytics tools.

The survey also found that concerns over the quality of information gathered by big data solutions are on the rise, which Lavastorm noted is likely to be due to the huge increase in sources of data seen in the past year.

Some 48 percent of respondents said they are currently working on improving data quality, a significant increase over the 27 percent that reported working on this last year. Additionally, 35 percent of professionals stated their company is also investing in data management tools such as integration, quality, extract, transform and load, and enrichment, in order to make the most of their analytics solutions.