Big Data isn't just a buzzword, it's a transformative technology trend that can have real impact, according to the new QuinStreet Enterprise 2014 Big Data Outlook report.
The study, which surveyed 540 decision-makers involved in Big Data purchases, found some surprising trends. Across all company sizes, 77 percent of organizations are taking Big Data and more specifically Big Data analytics seriously and consider it a priority.
The priority placed on Big Data analytics varies somewhat based on company size, however. Only 28 percent of companies with fewer than 100 employees considered Big Data analytics to be a top priority. In contrast, 47 percent of organizations with 1,000 or more employees considered Big Data analytics to be a top or very high priority. In the midsize company category, 57 percent said Big Data was a top priority.
Looking across all organizational sizes, the QuinStreet Enterprise study found a number of key benefits that can be obtained from Big Data analytics. The top benefit, cited by 74 percent of respondents, is the ability to make data more transparent and usable quickly. That benefit translates directly into one of the top Big Data analytics uses cases identified by the study, which is improving speed and reducing complexity.
Big Data analytics also has great potential when it comes to customer retention, which was cited as a key business use case by 50 percent of respondents. Nearly as many respondents, 46 percent, named gaining competitive advantage as a key use case.
Big Data Deployments Coming
While the benefits of and interest in Big Data analytics are clear, actual deployments are far from pervasive. Across all organizational sizes, 38 percent indicate they have already deployed some Big Data analytics projects or are in the process of doing so.
The highest number of deployments is in midsize companies, at 37 percent. That number falls to 9 percent for organizations of less than 100 employees, and 26 percent of organizations with more than 1,000 employees have projects in place. This result meshes with a recent study commissioned by Dell that found 41 percent of midsize companies already have at least one Big Data initiative, while 55 percent are planning projects.
Big Data Buying Decisions
Forty-four percent of organizations plan to leverage existing in-house hardware, while 37 percent plan on using commodity hardware and 32 percent will use purpose-built systems. This seems to indicate respondents put a high priority on keeping their Big Data projects cost-effective.
The study found there is more than one way to slice and dice Big Data. Forty-four percent of respondents are considering the use of analytical databases, while 41 percent report they are looking at relational databases and 41 percent are also evaluating business intelligence tools.
In terms of Big Data analytics software vendors, there appears to be no clear winner, indicating a wide open market. IBM was tapped by 12 percent of respondents as being the vendor they would choose, while 43 percent expressed no preference.
Read the full QuinStreet Enterprise 2014 Big Data Outlook here (Registration required.)
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.