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Marketing is the second-biggest user of big data (and other amazing facts)

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By Mark Schaefer, Marketing Consultant

Thanks to my friends at Dell, I received access to the latest EMA/9sight Big Data research. The report, a survey of 351 business and technology stakeholders around the world, illuminates key trends surrounding the adoption, expectations, and challenges associated with big data initiatives.

I found this interesting and you will too. Here are some highlights:

Big data gets bigger – In 2014, almost two-thirds of organizations had three or more big data projects, and more than 20 percent reported five or more projects in progress. More than 55 percent of the companies said that a big data strategy has been adopted and essential/important. Almost 63 percent of respondents included data-driven strategies in their organization at a significant level.

Marketing is a data hog – Marketing uses data analysis more than any other function other than line of business executives. Financial analysis is third.

Cloud? Or partly cloudy? – Nearly 60 percent of big data projects have a primary implementation element as part of a cloud: private, public, hybrid, or as a managed service.

I want it now – Big data projects are overwhelmingly near real-time, with more than 32 percent described as real-time/near real-time processing of data.

Where’s the beef? — Where is all this big data coming from? Machines! More than 40 percent of the data is coming from a factory floor.

Internet of Things is here – Nearly 50 percent of respondents indicated that the Internet of Things was “currently adopted” and an “important or essential” part of business.

Take a dip — This was a new term to me: the data lake. This is a storage repository that holds a vast amount of raw data in its native format until it is needed. More than 22 percent of respondents said a data lake is currently part of their big data strategy.

What is driving a big data strategy? Speed! “Speed of processing” is the number one reason driving big data investments.

I’m in the wrong business — Outside consultants are finding an important place in these projects. More than 20 percent of respondents implemented big data projects using customizable applications from an external provider and over 20 percent of respondents also utilize on-going technical consulting services from external organizations.

The big data big hitters — The most lucrative big data projects tackle eCommerce issues such as market basket analysis and cross-sell/up-sell activities. The most popular application is operational analytics (42 percent).

Exciting times. Big data will have such a profound impact on our lives and I guess in the future that promises to become … well … even bigger!

This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

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