How Far Have We Come in the “Year of Data”?

Written by on March 26, 2013 in Search Management Strategies, Uncategorized - Comments Off

Now that we’re nearly one-quarter of the way through 2013, it’s time to assess where we stand in regards to our expectations for the year. In January, everything we were reading online was about 2013 being the “Year of Data.” But for most businesses, the promises of putting data to work and gaining “actionable insights” from this mountain of information has translated into more media hype than business value.

Did you know we gather insights from only 1 per cent of the data available to us? According to a recent study from analyst firm IDC, that means 1 quantillion bytes of data that is collected every day remains untouched.

Big Data Hype vs. Reality

The Big Data market grew by $34 million in 2012 alone, IDC has told us. While the hype remains plentiful, it’s starting to get real. Forward-looking companies are developing Big Data strategies. At IDC’s Directions 2013 conference in Boston, analysts collectively agreed that the Big Data space is beginning to mature.

The key is for companies to focus on the realities in the market and determine what long and short-term plans they should be setting. “We can be installing all kinds of technology, but the important thing is to improve the decision-making,” said IDC analyst Dan Vesset during a panel session at the conference. “You can have the greatest Hadoop deployment in the world but it’s not going to be enough,” he added, referring to the popular open-source data-processing structure that is synonymous with the Big Data crusade.

Challenges with Leveraging Big Data

Companies looking to leverage Big Data still face a number of obstacles. One of the greatest challenges is sifting through which data should be kept or discarded. There is also the cost of procuring the necessary technologies, as well as the lack of data science professionals with the required skills to manage it. Another IDC analyst, Michael Versace, explained the latter issue will likely intensify in the future, suggesting the “gene pool is growing pretty shallow.”

So, while the market may be maturing, many organizations still lack the competence needed to capitalize on Big Data assets.

Unlocking the Value of Big Data

According to Computer Business Review, “With the opportunity to unlock the value of Big Data to accelerate innovation, drive optimization and improve compliance comes the need to demonstrate value, navigate expanding technology and alternatives, re-create business processes and ensure the availability of appropriately skilled staff.”

Said IDC’s Vesset, “The ability to manage and analyze Big Data and derive value from these activities will increasingly define an organization’s ability to compete or service its constituents.”

IDC’s Big Data and Analytics (BDA) Maturity Model was released to assist vendors in this process, allowing organizations to assess their BDA competency and maturity, then use this baseline to define short- and long-term goals and plan for improvement.

Big Data and Search

Of course, search and Big Data go hand-in-hand. With the proliferation of data that exists today, business and IT leaders must seek innovative ways to attract and engage web users, increase brand loyalty and cut operational costs.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, search driven Big Data analytics can bring unrivaled insights to marketing campaigns, engaging customers in a way that significantly increases an organization’s Enterprise Search ROI.

With the Cloud Search Portal Enterprise Search offering, organizations can utilize proper search analytics that help business leaders understand exactly how users are interacting with the search service.

Check out our SlideShare presentation for more tips, tools and statistics associated with Enterprise Search.


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