HP today took the wraps off a new services slate aimed at helping companies leverage the business-boosting potential of Big Data analytics.
Dubbed HP Business Analytics Services, the offering blends HP's server and storage systems solutions with the expertise of analytics professionals from its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) division. The BPO pros use proven best practices and methodologies to analyze structured and unstructured data, according to the company.
Danila Meirlaen, vice president of HP Business Process Outsourcing, says the service addresses some of the daunting challenges posed by roll-your-own Big Data analytics platforms. "Enterprises have made significant investments in technology to capture and store data; however, few have developed the talent, tools and processes needed to turn this Big Data into actionable insights," she says.
HP recognizes that for many organizations, a lack of qualified personnel presents a major hurdle to Big Data-driven business intelligence.
Analytics Talent Shortfall
Last year, the McKinsey Global Institute warned of a Big Data analytics skills gap. The group said the U.S. alone was short 140,000 to 190,000 workers with deep analytical know-how and approximately 1.5 million managers and analysts to help drive Big Data-fueled decision making.
The situation is unlikely to improve any time soon, according to a survey sponsored by the Business Intelligence Congress II. The 2011 study found that few colleges – just three out of 129 – offer business intelligence as a concentration or degree.
Not a problem for HP. "HP provides the hardware and software for firms to utilize Big Data, and is offering experienced analytic professionals to help clients structure and run a sustainable data-driven decision-making framework that drives competitive advantage," Meirlaen says.
Hot on IBM's Trail?
HP's move also puts HP in direct competition with a technology giant that is seemingly leaving no stone unturned in its quest to dominate Big Data analytics.
During the past several months, IBM has been working feverishly -- and spending huge sums -- to shore up its Big Data analytics services and solutions portfolio. In March, the company launched Smarter Analytics Signature Solutions, a suite of anti-fraud, consumer insight and financial planning tools.
In April IBM acquired Vivisimo, a federated discovery and navigation software specialist, for an undisclosed amount. A week later, it snapped up Tealeaf Technology, a provider of customer experience management and analytics software.