Big data on the move

SAP has discovered that there is more of an acceptance of the value of big data but its full potential could be undermined as employees struggle to make full use of big data tools

Big data usage is rapidly moving from the exclusive domains of IT and finance into other areas of a business such as sales, marketing and human resources, according to a survey from SAP UK.

The move signals a wider acceptance of the value of big data, however, its full potential could be undermined in these new areas as employees struggle to make full use of big data tools.

The survey polled executives from financial services, the public sector, telecoms, retail and utilities, revealing that a shift towards more widespread big data usage is gaining ground.  

For example, according to the survey, 13% of marketing operations, 11% of sales functions and 9% of research and development and human resources domains are now using big data tools.

However, Adrian Simpson, chief innovation officer, SAP, stressed the need for more training in the use of big data tools: “It is vital that businesses invest in training staff to be fluent in these services [big data analysis]… to add value back into the business.”

The survey also revealed that 61% businesses have made budget provisions for big data projects. There is also growing awareness at executive level about the potential of big data with 81% of survey respondents claiming that big data analysis is being integrated into new and existing projects.

The most common driver for big data usage is business efficiency and performance according to 37% of those polled. This is almost twice as important as reporting and analytics.

However, that said, big data priorities do differ across the five surveyed sectors reflecting the different needs of the various industries. For example, in the retail sector, companies were focusing on return-on-investment (ROI) and managing data in real-time.

In contrast the financial services sector highlighted access to data and meaningful insight as priorities while telcos said that data quality was the top priority.  

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