Big Data is Big Business: You Just Have to Get Started

As a marketing leader, I’m always interested in understanding trends and what’s keeping our customers up at night. According to the recent Dell Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI), which uncovers how organizations are truly using disruptive technology, big data is a big missed opportunity.

While 61 percent of respondents feel they have enough data to analyze, only 39 percent understand how to do it. This type of uncertainty stunts potential growth, and there’s nothing worse than striking out when you don’t even swing. Per one manufacturing & natural resource organization interviewed for the study, “Sometimes we feel frustrated that the return on investment [on big data] is lower than expected. It costs us a lot to collect the huge amount of data; however, we cannot analyze them efficiently.”

This uncertainty is further compounded when you realize businesses that are effective at using big data have a competitive advantage. GTAI reveals that the average three-year growth rate for those companies leveraging big data effectively is almost twice as high as organizations that don’t. This is exactly why the latest Dell 1-5-10 Series discussion (pictured below), which brought together industry experts to discuss the implications, challenges and opportunities of technology trends one, five and ten years from today, focused on big data and its power to accelerate business outcomes today and in the future.

People sitting around a table talking at the Dell 1-5-10 Series discussion

So where do the troubles with big data stem from? Our research shows it’s a number of places: cost (e.g. price of talent, storage, etc.), security concerns, uncertainty in how to leverage data and a lack of in-house expertise. In fact, GTAI uncovered that only 36 percent of organizations globally have in-house big data expertise. Yet, the proven benefits of big data analytics should justify the investment – businesses just have to get started.

We also found discrepancies between regions with regards to the adoption rate of big data. For instance, while 44 percent of global organizations are uncertain with how to proceed with big data, among Latin American organizations the number rises to 59 percent. Additionally, individual countries like India, the UK and US are effectively taking more advantage of the big data they are gathering than other countries like Japan.

At its core, big data analytics provides organizations with the background and intelligence to make educated strategic decisions. Personally, I want to know that my organization is equipped with the right set of insights so they can invest their time and resources into activities that matter most to our customers. And no surprise, I’m not alone in this – according to GTAI respondents, big data is a particularly effective tool for marketing purposes.

By analyzing the behavior of potential customers through big data, marketers can take a focused approach instead of casting a wide net and hoping for the best. We can help you get started in big data analytics. All in all, the end result conveys what organizations need to know about investing in analytics: Companies that are effective at leveraging big data are growing at a higher rate than those that are not.