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C-level executives seeing big results from big data

Thor Olavsrud | Sept. 12, 2014
An overwhelming majority of executives from companies that have brought big data projects to production are pleased with the results, according to new research by Accenture Digital. However, they also cite security as the major challenge they face.

The C-suite of large companies are also more likely to support big data projects. Accenture found that 62 percent of executives from large companies report extensive C-suite understanding and support of big data initiatives compared with 42 percent of respondents from small companies.

That said, Dell'Anno notes that smaller companies actually have a number of advantages when it comes to implementing big data intiatives.

"Bigger companies have larger budgets, but are stymied by organizational constraints how they're organized, processes they've developed over time," he says. "Those things end up being gates rather than money or technology."

Smaller organizations, on the other hand, tend to be more nimble and have the option of turning to services like Amazon Web Services to stand up data discovery and analytics in a rapid and cost effective way.

"It's really an even playing field," Dell'Anno says. "The competition is going to be for talent. It's not just being able to hire people, but are you working on a problem that's really going to be meaningful and engaging for them."

Recommendations for Big Data Success

To get the most out of your big data projects and to overcome the challenges that big data brings, Accenture offers these key recommendations:

Explore the entire big data ecosystem and be nimble. Data sources and big data technologies are in a constant state of flux. Companies need to learn to stay alert and be nimble to seize opportunities arising from evolving technologies.

Start small then grow. Rather than attempting to do everything at once, companies should focus resources around proving value from big data in one business area first via a pilot program or proof of concept.

Focus on building skills. With talent still one of the biggest big data challenges, organizations need to build the big data skills of existing employees through training and development. Fifty-four percent of executives said their companies have already developed internal technical training opportunities for their employees. Most organizations also tap outside expertise only five percent of respondents said their company only relies on internal resources for big data implementations.


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