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Report Finds Majority of Firms on Big Data Bandwagon

Businesses around the world are investing in Big Data initiatives with more enthusiasm than ever before because the projects enable firms to reduce costs and improve their competitive standing. A recent Gartner study highlighted the rise in these endeavors, noting that 64 percent of organizations are implementing or planning to deploy Big Data technologies in 2013, up from 58 percent in 2012.

Specifically, the survey of 720 Gartner Research Circle members around the world found that 30 percent of companies have Big Data projects in place, and another 19 percent intend to launch innovative solutions within the next year. Another 15 percent plan on launching similar strategies within 2 years. These revelations suggest that many organizations are navigating through the initial hype surrounding Big Data and are recognizing its potential to provide serious benefits.

"The hype around Big Data continues to drive increased investment and attention, but there is real substance behind the hype," said Lisa Kart, research director at Gartner. "Our survey underlines the fact that organizations across industries and geographies see 'opportunity' and real business value rather than the 'smoke and mirrors' with which hypes usually come."

Analysts said all Big Data initiatives begin the same way, regardless of where companies are located or their specific industries. The first steps require decision-makers to acquire information about the initiatives and build customized strategies.

Is it still early for Big Data investments?
Despite the growing belief that Big Data is now the norm and that the majority of organizations have already implemented an initiative, the truth is that the business world is still relatively early in its deployments, meaning firms still have time to jump on the bandwagon. Because Big Data is still new and not fully understood, analysts said executives need to conduct comprehensive pilot projects to ensure fully launched endeavors result in success.

Forbes reported that there are generally three steps to building a Big Data project, beginning with understanding specific problems the initiatives can solve. After decision-makers recognize their objectives, they can align technical and operational strategies and then hire new employees, if necessary, to get the job done.

"People are looking for a quick fix or silver bullet. Trying to eliminate the space between hype and reality is key to leveraging it properly," Big Data expert Brennan Carlson told Forbes.

As the Big Data movement continues to gain momentum in the business world, companies need to consider the analytic and storage tools they need to embrace such initiatives successfully. For the most part, careful advance planning can spell the difference between success and failure.

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