Big Data Analytics Set For Bright Future, Says Ovum

Big Data analytics is being touted as the next investment area for the majority of enterprise organisations

Large businesses are to ramp up their investments in so called Big Data analytics, at least according to research group Ovum.

It predicted that almost half of IT departments in enterprises in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific plan to invest in Big Data analytics in the near future.

It based this on survey results, which found that 44 percent of respondents will budget for Big Data analytics projects in the next two to five years. Meanwhile, a third said they would forge ahead with implementations next year.

BI By Another Name?

For many years now, organisations have talked about business intelligence (BI), in order to gather relevant and usable information from large amounts of data (i.e. the data warehouse). In April, Gartner said that global spending on BI, analytics and performance management applications rose to $10.5 billion (£6.4bn) in 2010, up 13.4 percent over the previous year.

But BI projects are regarded as expensive and were mostly used by large enterprise organisations. So nowadays the talk is turning to so called ‘Big Data analytics’.

Like BI, this technology allows businesses to harness the power of the large data sets gathered by their corporate systems, and extract business value such as information on customer trends.

And Ovum feels that it is not just the big boys interested in Big Data, as its survey found that 38 percent of respondents that are maintaining data warehouses in the terabyte range, have revenues below $50 million (£31m).

“There is little question that data is exploding, with most of the enterprises we spoke to predicting that in the next year alone the amount of data in their warehouses will grow by at least 10 to 20 percent,” said Tony Baer, Ovum analyst and author of report.

“The fact that the majority of enterprises have faith in the power of Big Data analytics to drive business benefits from this data is promising,” said Baer. “The number of use cases of early adopters is increasing, with our survey showing that uptake will soon be widespread.”

Industry Spread

And it seems that Big Data analytics is not just suited to traditional corporate systems, but is increasingly being used across a wide range of industries.

“The need for the technology crosses industry boundaries, with use ranging from classic customer segmentation analyses, to customer churn prevention, managing smart utility grids, public transportation networks, to anti-terrorism initiatives,” said Baer.

“Naturally, enterprises wanting to take the first steps in Big Data analytics shouldn’t analyse data just because it is there,” he cautioned. “They should look to existing business issues such as maximising customer retention or improving operational efficiency, and determine if expanding and deepening the scope of their analytics will deliver tangible business value.”

But Ovum was also keen to stress the other advantages that Big Data analytics can deliver, after its survey found that improved operational and strategic decision-making processes and customer services were the most popular business benefits.

The Ovum report comes as many big name vendors, including IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and Actian (formerly Ingres) gear up to exploit this Big Data analytics growth market.