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Retail Sector Best At Using Big Data, But Skills Shortage Hindering Others

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Retail sector currently utilising data analytics the best, according to EMC’s Big Data League

The UK’s retail sector is currently leading the way when it comes to using Big Data effectively, a new study has found.

In a survey across several major verticals, retail came ahead of manufacturing, IT & Telecoms, public sector and financial services, with many leading companies looking to introduce some form of analytics in their stores.

Worryingly though, 45 percent of businesses said that they have no data analytics platform experience, meaning they could be missing out on key insights from the data being gathered by their company.

shopping online store ©Andrey_Popov shutterstockTop of the league

The findings come courtesy of EMC’s ‘Big Data League’, which surveyed 300 UK businesses to see how effectively they are using data analytics.

The results also highlighted how a lack of IT skills could be to blame for many companies missing out on the potential of Big Data, as 62 percent of respondents said that they didn’t have the skills to understand ethical, responsible and compliant use of customer data.

Forty-two percent also said that their business’ IT infrastructure limitations were holding them back, a troubling finding given the opportunities offered by Big Data.

“We’re past the point where people can write off the potential for and use of data as the responsibility of IT or an operational silo,” said James Petter, EMC’s senior vice president and managing director, UK & Ireland.

“It has to be a strategic focus for the business if we are to successfully deliver a new era of accelerated growth in an uncertain, hyper-competitive market context. Now is the time for businesses to invest in their people and processes to make sure that they don’t get left behind.”

A study conducted by EMC and other Big Data providers earlier this year predicted that 2014 will be the year that Big Data analytics finally goes mainstream , as businesses finally catch on to the usefulness of the tool.

According to research published by SINTEF in May 2013, 90 percent of the world’s data was generated over last two years. The variety and quantity of information will only increase, as the Internet of Things enables organisations to collect data from billions of new sources.

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