Skills gap holding back big data moves

IBM has carried out an extensive survey of the state of the UK market in relation to big data discovering that a skills gap is holding back some customers

The two words 'big data' are set to dominate the landscape next year much in the way BYOD and cloud have over the last 12 months as more customers start to take an interest in the technology.

Customer interest is on the rise according to the latest survey from IBM, which comes just days after SAP research also indicated more investment was coming in this technology area.

Big Blue's findings showed that almost two thirds of UK businesses understood the competitive advantages associated with Big Data, which is a significant increase over the 34% that said the same back in 2010.

Apart from the obvious opportunities around helping customers start using big data tools there are areas that the IBM research revealed were not being addressed at then moment, including the information generated on social media platforms, and there was a lack of analytical skills preventing users from tackling unstructured data.

Matin Jouzdani, strategy consultant at IBM global business services, said that the reason for some firms not picking up the social media activity was not just because it had been an oversight but because of the growing skills shortages faced by customers.

"Having the more advanced analytical capabilities for managing unstructured data, including geospatial location data, voice and video, as well as streaming data remains a top challenge for most organisations," said Jouzdani.

"Less than 25% of the survey respondents say they have the required capabilities to analyse highly unstructured data, a major inhibitor to getting the most value from big data," he added.

UK firms in particular are trying to take advantage of big data with large numbers starting to gather information to be analysed from as much of their business activities as possible. The main reason they cited for doing so was to improve the services they could offer customers.

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