The Economist Business Unit and Capgemini found that organizations are struggling with the enormous volumes of data coming in. But perhaps more important, they are struggling with poor quality data and siloed data.
"It is the complexity of the data they have, not the sheer volume, that is really slowing down their ability to make decisions," says Scott Schlesinger, vice president and head of Business Information Management for Capgemini U.S. "You've got to get your arms around data quality. Garbage in is garbage out."
While the majority of respondents in the study say their firms are data-driven, they also say their organizations do not have enough of a 'big data culture': 55 percent say that big data management is not viewed strategically at senior levels of the organization.
When it comes to these obstacles, there is a split between C-level executives and IT decision-makers about which constitute the biggest hurdles. The majority of C-level executives (58 percent) believe finding the right technology is a bigger challenge than finding the right staff. However, 56 percent of IT decision-makers disagree: They believe finding the right staff is a bigger challenge than finding the right technology.
"Big data is not new," Schlesinger says. "It's a new term. It's a problem that's becoming more and more prevalent, not due to the volume of data but to the new types of data that we're facing. Unless we face it from the people, process and technology perspectives, we won't be able to get our arms around it."
"Throwing technology at it is just not the answer," he adds. "Technology is a component of it."
How to Approach Big Data
To better make the transition to a data-driven culture, Avanade recommends taking what it calls the MORE approach: