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Going Beyond the Buzz on Big Data

December 10, 2012

Everyone is talking about big data but if you are like me, you want to see some REAL data on what is going on with big data. That is exactly what you will get with the new IBM-sponsored big data study from EMA Research & 9Sight Consulting. We wanted to know what customers were really doing beyond the buzz, beyond the marketing. Who’s implementing ? How does it vary by industry? What are they doing with big data? How big is big data?

EMA_BigDataComesofAge_RR-IBM.pdf_Page_01.pngBig Data Comes of Age examines these key questions and others around this burgeoning opportunity. The study involved 255 big data business and IT professionals who responded to an invitation to talk about their big data plans and implementations. To provide some balanced viewpoints, the study restricted the pool of respondents to a mix of 44% business and 56% IT.

If you love data, you will enjoy this study. It’s truly refreshing to see some real statistics on what is really going on with big data.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Adoption rates show that 34% of respondents in large organizations (500-5000 employees) are in operation with big data projects, 44% follow are in serious planning, and 22% are still investigating.
  • Of that mix of customers who are in production, enterprise-size companies (5000+ employees) lead the pack with 39%, followed by mid-size companies (less than 500 employees) at 36% and large companies (500-5000 employees) being the smallest portion of implementers at 34%.
  • The industries that lead implementation are retail and media & PR, each with 50% of their projects in operation.
  • 51% of the projects being implemented were for online archiving.

A couple of other statistics I found very interesting. There appears to be no clear, consistent sponsor of big data projects across the implementing groups – it’s a mix by industry. For example, in healthcare, finance was a sponsor in 17% of the respondent’s, but in utilities, finance was a sponsor only 7%.

As with any major technology project, I am always curious as to where the obstacles are. What should we expect with big data projects? Respondents from the healthcare industry reported that 45% of their challenges were related to issues with stakeholders (sounds familiar), but many other industries reported a large percentage of issues related to lack of strategy, followed closely by lack of skills.

The study also examines how the architecture is shifting to accommodate the move toward big data. The trend away from a single system toward an integrated platform such as the IBM big data platform continues. It’s also very interesting to see how budgets are shifting as this change occurs.

Lastly, the question we have all wondered – just how big is big data? Well, the answer may surprise you ! Seventy-five percent of respondents said they were managing between 1TB and 750TBs of data. Now that’s quite a range! Of that mix:

  • 19% were managing 50-100TB
  • 19% were managing 10-50TB
  • 15% were managing 1-10TB
  • Only 2% had 10PB or more

Hey, maybe big data isn’t so big yet?

Want to know more? Dig into the study.

Download "Big Data Comes of Age"