Best Practices Blog 5 Min Read

New UK Research:
Is The Promise of Big Data Hampered by Skills Shortages and Poor Performance?

By: Steven Wastie
Best Practices Blog 5 Min Read
By: Steven Wastie

Ahead of Big Data London in November, Unravel Data worked with Sapio Research to find out how business leaders really feel about big data and how they are doing in executing against their deployment plans.

We’ve heard first hand from many of the UK’s largest financial services, telecommunications, and technology enterprises that they are facing significant challenges in harnessing the power of data to transform their businesses and create more compelling customer experiences. This new research suggests there is plenty of optimism from businesses about putting data to work. Yet addressing operational challenges as they morph and evolve is a pressing concern.

Although 84 percent of respondents claim their big data projects usually deliver on expectations, only 17 percent currently rate the performance of their big data stack as ‘optimal’. There are also stark differences between how managers and senior teams see their big data stacks: 13 percent of VPs, directors and C-suite members report their stack only meets half of its KPIs, but more than double the number of managers (29%) say the same.

It also seems businesses aren’t yet using big data applications to grow their businesses, instead seeing protection and compliance as the most worthwhile goals. The top four most valuable and effective uses of big data currently, according to business leaders, are:

  • Cybersecurity intelligence (42%);
  • Risk, regulatory, compliance reporting (41%);
  • Predictive analytics for preventative maintenance (35%);
  • Fraud detection and prevention (35%).

Further findings from the research:

  • According to survey respondents the two greatest aspirations of big data teams are delivering on the promise of big data and to improve big data performance
    Lack of skills was cited as the top challenge (49%) to big data success in the enterprise; followed closely by challenges of handling data volumes, variety, and velocity (44%)
  • Lack of big data architects (45%) and big data engineers (43%) top the list of the most pressing skills that are lacking
  • Data analysis is the top priority for improvement, cited by 43% of respondents. This is followed by data transformation (39%) and data visualization (37%)
  • Cost reduction is the biggest expected benefit for big data applications, cited by 41% of respondents, followed by faster application release timings (37%)
  • 78% of organisations are already running big data workloads in the cloud, and 82% have a strategy to move existing big data applications into the cloud
  • Only one in five have an ‘all cloud’ strategy, with more than half (54%) using a mix of cloud and on-premise applications
  • 99% of business leaders report that their big data projects on delivering on business goals at least ‘some of the time’

The top level insight that we can derive from this primary research is that most organisations believe in the promise of big data – but the operational challenges are holding back enterprises from realising the full potential. This is due to a combination of factors, most notably performance and a shortage of experienced talent.

The challenge now is to ensure the big data stack performs reliably and efficiently, and that big data teams have the tools and expertise to deliver the next generation of applications, analytics, AI and Machine Learning. This is the Unravel mission: To radically simplify the tuning and optimisation of modern big data applications and infrastructure.

Unravel provides a single view of performance across platforms – whether on-premise or in the cloud, and delivers automated Insights and recommendations through machine learning to assure SLA’s are met and ensuring operational teams are as efficient as possible.

The full research report will be available in December. If you would like to receive a copy of the full report, please register your interest here.

The survey was conducted with 200 IT decision makers involved in big data in organisations with over 1,000 employees. The interviews were conducted in October 2018 via email and online panels.