Most top executives at Fortune 2000 companies, surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, believe that big data analytics platform built natively on Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark will revolutionise the way businesses operate. This is likely to significantly increase demand for people with the necessary skills.
Many of those surveyed said they could already identify a number of disparate areas where data analytics could be leveraged to drive business value and contribute to the bottom line.
Ben Werther, founder and CEO of Platfora, the data analytics company that sponsored the report, said: "Now that mainstream companies have adopted big data analytics technologies, it's encouraging that the optimism still prevails. It's proof that this class of solutions is working."
He predicted: "Leadership that promotes the use of big data at all levels of an enterprise will see an increased competitive advantage and ability to meet the needs of customers at a whole new level."
Key findings of the study include:
- Forty eight percent of executives believe big data to be a useful tool, while another 23 percent say big data will revolutionise the way businesses are managed.
- Seventy six percent of those surveyed rated their CEO's views as positive or very positive on the subject, closely followed by CIOs (72 percent) and CMOs (67 percent).
According to the EIU, a key component for adoption of big data technologies is a data-driven culture. "Companies that embrace data as a corporate asset and a source of competitive advantage will see greater returns in this ever-changing world of technology," the EIU said. "However, in order to be successful, a data-centric culture stems from all levels of an organisation."
It argues leadership that creates a corporate culture that promotes the use of big data at all levels and across all business departments of an organisation stands to improve business processes and win against peers.
It adds: "When leadership aspires to create a data-centric culture, the next critical step is the cultural transformation necessary to embed the new expertise and tools into day-to-day business transactions and decisions throughout the whole organisation.
"Having employees across all layers of the organisation embrace and use data on a day-to-day basis is the critical ingredient and necessary condition for ultimately transforming the company into a truly data-driven business."
The EIU concludes: "Embracing data as a corporate asset—and a source of competitive advantage—is not just a 'good idea' that companies should consider. Such adoption will help determine the winners and losers across multiple markets and industries in the future.In the last couple of years, corporate focus has shifted: first, from investing in the right technology and tools; then to acquiring the right talent and skills; and now to building the right organisational culture that can realise the business value of powerful big-data analytic tools."
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