Using big data the right way can propel a business to new heights and increasingly more companies believe this to be true, changing the way they analyze their businesses.
According to an annual NewVantage Partners survey of Fortune 1000 companies, 67% of executives say they have current big data initiatives. That’s more than double last year’s rate of 32%.
And the size of companies’ investment in data is changing too. According to their 2012 survey, a third of respondents had made investments of $1 million or more. This year, 45% reported big data spends of at least $10 million.
“It should be noted that the level of skepticism [about big data] has dropped significantly since we first conducted this survey in 2012,” says the report.
One of the widespread problems according to surveyed executives was how to define “big data.” From the numbers, it’s clear they are comfortable with concept, but not the term. No matter what you call it, big data isn’t a magic bullet on its own.
“Big data cannot affect real change in a business unless the business changes with it. All the insights in the world are meaningless unless they can be properly tested and acted upon,” writes Brian Honigman on the Wall Street Journal blog.
“In order for big data to truly benefit an organization, there must be systems in place for leveraging the insights large scale data analysis produces. It’s not enough to simply have all of this new data on hand — big data can only improve your business if you start making decisions based off of its findings.”
Other highlights among the findings include:
82% of executives view data as being highly important or mission-critical within their organizations.
37% of executives reported that the primary executive sponsor of data initiatives is the CEO, COO or business president. They stressed the importance of sponsorship from the top of the organization.
The Chief Data Officer often leads the charge. More than 40% of companies have carved out or defined a role to oversee data, a sharp jump from previous years. In 2012, only 19% of companies had a CDO or equivalent.
This reinforces what we reported in April about a roundtable hosted by ClickZ with a panel of Big Data Experts.
Stephanie Miller called out five ways marketing is evolving because of Big Data, and when avoiding over-automation, has the potential to:
Improve market segmentation and fuel a truly customer-centric, one-on-one engagement model
Create a more accurate picture of customer “personas”
Drive social marketing by making sense of unstructured data such as comments, tweets and posts
Improve channel optimization by helping marketers understand what is important across touch points
Inform content and accelerate content marketing opportunities
As more companies invest in big data programs, the best will be able to take the information gathered and use it to analyze the business and make decisions. Marketers should be able to more easily target customers with messages that resonate. Data should also help companies properly allocate budgets and more efficiently sell products.