Staffing and the Volume of Information are the Primary Big Data Challenges

New Brunswick, NJ - 20 December 2011

Latest Research from Connotate Highlights Corporate Attitudes and Perceptions on Big Data

Connotate, Inc., the leading provider of solutions that help organizations monitor and collect data and content from the Web, today announced the results of its “Big Data Attitudes and Perceptions Survey.” The report provides insights from over 300 thought leaders spanning a variety of industries into corporate goals involving Big Data, highlights how enterprises monitor, collect and use information in Big Data projects and presents executives’ views on the importance of these projects to the business.

The key finding of the survey is that 45 percent of respondents indicated that human effort was the primary deterrent to enterprises leveraging Big Data while 44 percent believe the volume of internal and Web information is the culprit. The common perception is that the “Big” in Big Data is the only thing preventing enterprises from reaping the benefits of this trend but the findings in Connotate’s report indicate that enterprises believe human capital is equally important. This juxtaposition shows the business world’s poor understanding of Big Data. In all other corporate initiatives, executive and IT teams use technology to optimize operations but that best practice has not translated to Big Data yet. The mainstream view is that Big Data requires a large amount of people for aggregation and analysis which is not necessarily true.

“Our research shows that Big Data goes beyond technology and is an HR challenge for corporate America,” said Connotate CEO Tom Meyer. “While it is important that organizations devote resources to Big Data, employees must be freed from the information fire hose so they can concentrate only on the information that is relevant to their tasks. Connotate’s Agent Community data extraction and monitoring tools are a proven force multiplier, enabling companies to drastically reduce the amount of personnel needed to run and achieve significant ROI from Big Data projects.”

The human effort statistic further highlights the importance of efficient data monitoring and extraction methods for Big Data. The Internet is a dynamic environment where new information is continuously created and distributed at exponential growth rates. This data has the power to deliver business insights however, 61 percent of respondents to the Connotate survey are creating huge obstacles for themselves by manually searching and collecting Web-based data and content. With almost a third (31 percent) of respondents saying they need to collect critical information for their Big Data projects daily, organizations’ anxiety around not having enough people to support Big Data initiatives comes into clearer focus.

Just as important as how the data is collected, according to respondents, is the quality of the data. Information quality/accuracy was cited as the most important characteristic of Web data, a key source of Big Data, for enterprises by 59 percent of those who completed the survey.

Executives Understand the Importance of Big Data

Data aggregation is establishing itself as an increasingly important function within the enterprise based on the findings within Connotate’s survey.

• 27 percent of executives are involved in managing their organization’s data aggregation operations and/or budgets
• 58 percent of the companies surveyed spend close to $500,000 on Web data aggregation
• 4 percent of respondents indicated they spent more than $10 million on data aggregation annually

Enterprise Uses for Big Data

At this early stage of Big Data’s adoption within the enterprise, organizations are keeping their initiatives simple as the survey found that the most popular uses of Web data were monitoring the company’s brand as well as the competition. However, it is important to note that 39 percent of respondents have been able to create revenue as a result of their Big Data projects by offering data services. This number will continue to grow as profitable uses of Big Data enable large corporations and small companies to turn raw data into substantial revenue streams.

Mid-Market Lagging in Big Data Adoption

The mid-market (100-10,000 employees) is surprisingly lackluster in their use of Web data within the organization. Consider the following:

• Only 46% of mid-market companies use Web data for competitive monitoring as compared to 70% of enterprises (10,000+)
• Mid-market companies even lag behind the SMB market (less than 100 employees) in two major categories: brand monitoring (39 percent vs. 44 percent) and price monitoring (29 percent vs. 35 percent)

SMBs aren’t without their flaws. Only 27 percent of respondents within that segment indicated that they monitor the government sources of data (laws, regulations, etc.). Considering that most legislation affects SMB owners first and any compliance slip-up can result in sizable fines, this is a major blind spot they need to address.

Manufacturers Top Industry Adopters

Manufacturing, an industry not traditionally thought of as early technology adopters, is by far the top industry taking advantage of Web data for corporate purposes. Manufacturing is tops in brand monitoring (73 percent) and price (67 percent) as well as second in competitor (57 percent) and government (57 percent) monitoring.

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