Big Data, Bright Prospects

October 25, 2012

“Big data” means managing and interpreting new streams and sources of data, or across existing streams of previously uncombined data. It can come from existing databases and documents, new feeds of audio and video, or the “network of things” taking shape in the environment. It creates unprecedented volumes of data for analysis—between a doubling and an order of magnitude increase is typical. Nearly 30% of organizations have initiated big data projects. Another 5.6% expect to in the next 18 months. The threshold for moving into big data territory is approximately 1 Petabyte of data right now. The top driver of big data projects is the need to analyze already on hand, followed by initiatives facing out toward customers. Big data creates technology challenges around storage and management, as well as organizational challenges. There is no dominant model for big data ownership. Fewer than half of initiatives have a dedicated owner, and the rest are spread across work groups, and various sorts of intra- and inter-departmental teams. However, having a clearly identified owner at high levels is a success strategy. Enterprise Technology (ET) organizations should get out in front of the big data efforts in their own organizations; focus on finding high-ranking leadership for the project; and watch the amount of storage they have closely.

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