Leading corporations are making serious commitments to their big data and analytics initiatives, with more than two-thirds (67 percent) of executives now reporting that they have big data initiatives running in production within the corporation, according to a New Vantage Partners report.
C-executives and business unit chief executives, representing organizations including American Express, Aetna, Fidelity Investments, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Lincoln Financial, and Wells Fargo, comprised 42 percent of the survey respondents.
Just 4 percent of executives now report that no big data initiatives are planned or underway, in sharp contrast to the 67 percent of executives who report that big data initiatives now operate within a production environment within their organization.
"Data security is a huge issue for large companies, as can be attested to by recent data breaches at major banks and retailers," Randy Bean, NewVantage Partners CEO, told eWeek. "Many firms have appointed a chief information security officer focused exclusively on data security, as distinct from chief data officers who focus on the insights and business opportunities represented by big data."
Executives report that their corporate investments in big data are projected to grow to 75 percent in 2017 for investments greater than $10 million, and by 28 percent for investments greater than $50 million.
In addition, 43 percent of executives report that their organization has established a Chief Data Officer (CDO) function, a dramatic jump from 2012, when only 19 percent of executives reported that their organization had established a CDO role and from 2013 where the number had grown only slightly to 26 percent, according to the company’s earlier studies.
Executives were in strong agreement that a business-IT partnership is essential to the success of corporate big data initiatives, with 88 percent of executives citing the importance of a strong business-IT partnership, and more than three-quarters (77 percent) citing business leadership and sponsorship, and partnership and organizational alignment as being the most critical factors in ensuring successful adoption of big data initiatives.
"Corporations are taking big data very seriously as evidenced by the growing investment described in the survey," Bean said. "Adoption is accelerating. Big data initiatives are being sponsored from the top of the organization. Large companies need to be more nimble, have the ability to answer questions and make decisions faster, and manage their data assets more cost-effectively. Leading companies will need to have a strategy and plan for how they leverage big data if they intend to compete in the coming years."
Survey respondents also saw big data as providing significant business benefits, including greater insight and learning, the ability to obtain answers and make decisions faster and in a more informed manner, greater agility and flexibility.
Just 4 percent of executives surveyed said they saw technology selection as being critical to successful big data adoption.
"Large companies have lots of data – large volumes, and many data sets and sources," Bean explained. "Small businesses can usually manage their data needs much more simply. Big data approaches can help small businesses stay agile and simple, and avoid the traditional data challenges that large companies have faced."