Big Data Blocked By Poor Storage Structure, Says Report

Data is stored as badly as stuff in a “woman’s handbag” says (male) researcher

Firms are failing to optimise stored data and this is leading to them missing out on gaining on the business advantages promised by so-called “big data” analytics,, according to a report.

The research, carried out by Inbox Insight, Computacenter and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), found that almost 60 percent of organisations find it hard to analyse information stored on their systems. It said that while companies may be able to cope with the volume and velocity of their data, their infrastructure is not sufficiently optimised to help them find and use information effectively.

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A handbag?

The research found that over half of organisations surveyed (52.5 percent) do not have processes in place to consolidate their data into a structure that allows degrees of business intelligence to be applied. This often results in failure to find trends in data, understand where new opportunities lie, or simply makes it harder for organisations to find data to comply with audit requirements, according to the report.

He said that, as European markets grow more competitive, organisations which simply store data would find it harder to thrive: “Using analytics to understand and exploit data will continue to increase in importance – but it’s clear from this report that organisations lack the process and infrastructure to make this a reality.”“Company data today is like a woman’s handbag,” says Bill McGloin, practice leader for data optimisation at Computacenter. “It may hold a lot, but actually finding anything in it is practically impossible.”

Over a third (37.6 percent) of organisations surveyed admitted to struggling with legislation, which carries the risk of fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office. The research also found that 85 percent of organisations say staff have problems finding information, while 25 percent of organisations think they are not effective at using data for business advantage. Around one in five companies do not have procedures for retaining and disposing of documents and records, the report found.

“Although companies now have enough storage performance to cope with data, they may not have the data structure which would make business analytics possible,” said McGloin.

He added that this not only meant that they would fail to exploit data to its fullest advantage, but costs may start to spiral out of control.

“Getting on the path to data analytics needs to be a key priority for 2013 if organisations are to effectively compete, innovate and bring new services to market. In what could potentially be a ‘lost decade’ of growth, companies which fail to prepare should prepare themselves to fail,” he said.

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