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Big Data – Only for Big Players?
2013-02-27 Editor: Views:

A recent study by Aberdeen reveals the potential in Big Data that has not yet been tapped – and not only for the big fish out there, as it turns out.

Think Big Data is only something for big companies? Think again. Small organizations in particular can benefit from this phenomenon, as well. Just as their larger counterparts chew through petabytes of information, small businesses and midsize companies can learn much from their own terabytes.

The pressure faced by IT departments and the business side of operations, is strikingly similar for firms both large and small. According to a study by Aberdeen, more than half of all companies are not gaining access to important information quickly enough, with 45 percent citing data format difficulties as the reason they fail to leverage their information.

Growing quantities of data

The sheer volume of data at hand is hardly helping, of course. Of the organizations surveyed, 35 percent also bemoaned the fact that their information is simply growing at too rapid a pace. IT infrastructures are falling behind, and without the means to process it, data is becoming useless. No wonder, if you take a look at the statistics: The data collected by the companies in the survey increases by some 40 percent every year – and not just for the big players. In any case, 81 percent of firms with more than U.S.$1 billion in annual revenues have more than five terabytes of information – considered the magic number for Big Data by the analysts at Aberdeen. Meanwhile, more than half (56 percent) of small businesses and midsize companies have also crossed this minimum threshold. Even when one observes smaller businesses with less than U.S.$50 million in annual revenues, just under a third (29 percent) still qualify as dealing with Big Data.

Tackling problems instead of business as usual

This is no reason to bury one’s head in the sand, however: Taking on the challenges involved in long analysis times, rapid data growth, and information silos is a worthwhile endeavor. “The way in which a Big Data program pays off most lies in how it enables you to quickly answer questions about internal business processes, partners, products, and customers,” explains Nathaniel Rowe, research analyst at the Aberdeen Group.

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