The Tale of Big Data Stampede

Digital Marketing Lead, Public Services Sector, IBM Analytics

A year ago IBM in conjunction with Said Business Schools asked executives across the globe what were their key challenges when implementing big data initiatives. Not surprisingly, the main issues cited included -- difficulty articulating a compelling business case, understanding how to use big data, the lack of analytical and technical skills as well as garnering management focus and support.  While 24% of respondents were still focused on gathering big data knowledge and 47% were developing a strategy, only a paltry 6% had deployed two or more big data initiatives.  What is evident is the glaring chasm in the market with organizations struggling to get people, process, data and technology foundation established to tap into the benefits of new technologies and data insights. Similar observations have been made by other studies as well:

  • PWC research shows that "58% of respondents agreed that moving from data to insight is a major challenge"
  • eHealth initiative shines an even bigger spotlight on the issue declaring that "84% of CIOs and other C-suite healthcare executives say the application of big data analytics in healthcare organizations is a significant challenge."

Though big data promises rich rewards many are still struggling to find triumph in their data stock piles. Although some organizations may have big data technologies, we have found them to lack the strategy and skills in many instances to execute the initiative to turn data into insights and consume it in their operational execution and management decisions. In the last nine months, we've worked with many organizations to transform their big data journey from one of frustration, stalled projects and failures into rapid fire, repeatable successes.  In our analysis, the first few steps needed to evaluate the right architectures, provide business value proof points, define roadmap, align stakeholders and stand up operational technologies to embark on the journey have been the most difficult and core issues. A poignant fact from our IBV study last year was that only 6% have developed two or more big data projects. This signified that 94% of businesses are still struggling to start or derive value from their initial big data initiatives.  The ability to deploy, implement, execute, transfer and apply big data insight across projects and departments and processes is severely lacking. At IBM, we saw a clear trend emerging from not only various studies but also our direct engagement and conversations with hundreds of organizations, which needed a simple yet effective solution.

IBM Big Data Stampede initiative emerged from our analysis and desire to help organizations battle through those initial steps to successfully initiate their big data programs and place our clients at the front of the big data pack with a structured assistance right upfront to get them through initial hurdles. Big Data Stampede is aimed at initiating client roadmaps successfully with a three pronged approach: services, software and skills. With this program, we are offering upfront partnership to our clients to successfully establish and initiate their big data programs with our expert services, software stack and training programs.

Service Please

A critical challenge in getting a big data project off the ground is knowing where to start.  Data tsunamis, deluges and floods are reality as many organizations struggle with handling the massive amounts of data generated daily.  However the ability to unearth, explore and exploit the right data, and the right business use cases to derive a seemingly elusive value is even more critical to establish proof-points and garner stakeholders’ alignment and sponsorship. Another common issue is the need to stand up the big data technology architectures and prototype the initial business or technology use cases to demonstrate the feasibility and value. An agile and effective execution of such prototypes in conjunction with big data roadmap and architecture guidance in what questions to ask, where to start, and how to utilize data then becomes an invaluable boost to put together a longer-term program with right the sponsorships.

Software Power

No matter how you define big data whether with V's or I's, the fact still remains that the approach to tackle data of many different forms coming from many sources in different ways requires a robust and coherent architecture strategy. Gartner predicted “through 2015, more than 85% of Fortune 500 organizations will fail to effectively exploit Big Data for competitive advantage."  Effective exploitation demands a comprehensive solution to manage not only the volume of data we have today but the diverse forms of data generated daily as well as the velocity of streaming data – with tooling for applying a variety of different analytics techniques. Added to this, legacy systems and disparate silos still host a wealth of information that businesses need to access and connect with other insights to make strategic decisions.  IBM boasts of the most comprehensive big data, integration and analytics technology stack and we will bring the right software to solve specific requirements and challenges for our clients as part of Big Data Stampede project execution.

Skills Problem

For some of the leading organizations who know the value proposition for their business operations specifically, the big data challenge is not deciding whether big data is worth the investment, or deciding on a strategy, or employing the right technologies - but it is a people enablement issue with the lack of skills available to implement, scale and sustain the program.  By 2018, McKinsey indicates, the “U.S. alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep big data and analytical skills.” This highlights the need to develop the skill sets and knowledge needed to apply big data strategies across the entire organization. IBM has a comprehensive set of enablement programs and training courses designed in our Big Data University, and we will bring these people enablement roadmaps with training access as part of the Big Data Stampede services to help our clients build the competency internally.

Success Promised

IBM Big Data Stampede meets big data initiation and execution challenges at the heart of the problem. By melding together our expert services, enablement programs and comprehensive big data & analytics platform, IBM Big Data Stampede program aspires to crush the challenges faced by many organizations in successfully setting up the solution and initiating the programs. With Big Data Stampede collaboration, we aim to lead the charge in truly enabling our clients to big data success.

Do you want to be a 'Stampeder'?

Then get on big data fast track with Big Data Stampede. You can find further information on the program at