Only Some Companies see Positive ROI for Big Data

Remaining competitive is one of the top corporate objectives within today's business world. Having the ability to accurately gather insight into prospective and existing customer behavior as well as internal operations is among the best ways to establish a competitive advantage. Doing so often requires firms to use various Big Data technologies that make it easier to collect, store, and assess large volumes of information.

During the past 18 months or so, companies have launched an accelerated adoption plan for Big Data tools, according to a new AIIM report. Although information analysis is widely viewed as a critical capability in today's environment, roughly 60 percent of responding organizations said they have limited business intelligence powers, which means they may be viewing different projects and endeavors inaccurately.

Today, the conceptual benefits of Big Data projects are being broadly accepted across the enterprise landscape; however, many firms may not be pursuing these initiatives in the right way. As a result, these companies are generating more "dark data," which is classified as information sets that aren't properly labeled or controlled.

"Big Data potentially holds huge insight for organizations, but the mass of "dark data" could impact the ability to extract that insight effectively," said Doug Miles, director of market intelligence at AIIM. "Businesses should look to harness their information and combine it across disparate systems as a precursor to their Big Data journey."

Overcoming Big Data adversity
The fact of the matter is that the idea of Big Data is relatively unfamiliar to many firms, especially smaller organizations that aren't necessarily accustomed to collecting and managing huge volumes of information. AIIM highlighted how a large number of businesses are struggling to find the talent needed to maintain robust Big Data initiatives, which is why 34 percent of respondents said they have outsourced the projects to a more knowledgeable and capable third party. Another 13 percent noted that they brought in outside help to alleviate complications.

Nevertheless, the survey found that companies are relentless in their dedication to Big Data. Approximately 34 percent of respondents said they believe Big Data will be essential for the business to experience success in the future. Meanwhile, 60 percent of organizations stated that their initial return on investment is "good," which suggests that enterprises are at least pursuing the Big Data projects that align with their needs.

In a Sand Hill report, IT expert Chris Kocher highlighted how it is important that decision-makers understand that Big Data isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy because each company has unique goals, capabilities, and projections. Kocher asserted that building a Big Data initiative means understanding and incorporating both traditionally structured information as well as newer, less familiar unstructured assets. Meanwhile, executives must ensure their organization has the ability to collect those resources from various internal and external sources if they want to maximize the value of their Big Data projects and gather a wide view of multiple environments.

Launching a successful Big Data project also means making sure that the hype surrounding the strategy doesn't surpass the actual capabilities of the endeavor, Kocher noted. This often happens when organizations adopt plans too quickly that haven't taken all factors into account, leading to an unrealistic expectation of how Big Data will impact operations.

There's no doubt that properly executed Big Data initiatives will transform the way companies view and approach their futures. Overcoming initial hype and challenges will be critical to achieving these benefits because encountering pitfalls early on will only result in a poor perception of Big Data, causing organizations to miss out on a number of critical opportunities.

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