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Big Data Means Different Things to Different Businesses

Big Data offers opportunities for businesses to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, but only if they can figure out what to do with all that information.

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fascinating new survey from the UK’s Computing magazine reveals some telling attitudes in the IT world to the emergence of Big Data as both a hot new computing buzzword and its potential use as a business-building tool. The survey asked senior IT professionals in large UK firms a series of questions on the challenges of Big Data and how their companies are utilizing – or not utilizing – the computing capability’s benefits.

A lot of IT pros remain skeptical, it seems, about the perceived hype surrounding the idea of Big Data. Part of the problem arises from the confusion surrounding the actual term, which, depending on who you ask, has a variety of meanings. Some people  think of Big Data as the avalanche of data generated by personal and business computers; others as an advanced form of data analytics. When asked what they thought of the term “Big Data,” the respondents had some interesting answers:

  • 28% referred to the term as “vendor hype.”
  • 37% equated Big Data with Big Problems (because of spiraling data volumes).
  • 27% saw it as a big opportunity that not enough organizations are grasping.

In spite of the resistance to the term, 72% of survey respondents said that they “recognize that their data holds hidden value” for their companies, value that is often going ignored or under-utilized because no one is entirely sure how to use all this new data. A surprising 76% of those surveyed said that they are dealing with ever increasing data volumes by purchasing extra storage space.

The survey also charts what kind of data companies are saving and for how long, and what factors are helping determine those decisions.


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