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Big data deployments hamstrung by poor strategy

26 Mar 2013
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Companies are failing to get the most out of their big data platforms because of poor planning and targeting.

That is the conclusion from a study by consulting firm TCS, which uncovered many large enterprises that are not utilising their big data platforms in the areas which can best benefit their businesses, in some cases hampering the rollouts and preventing maximum return on investment (ROI.)

According to TCS, many of the firms it surveyed were opting to apply their big data initiatives on public-facing projects. In doing so, said TCS global head of mobility and next-generation solutions Satya Ramaswamy, many are missing out on opportunities to improve internal practices.

"The functions that have the highest return on investment are not getting the most dollars," Ramaswamy told V3.

"Companies are investing more on the ones that are connecting with the customer."

With that investment also comes in increase in the need to gather outside data. TCS estimates that as much as 37 percent of content in their big data platforms is collected from sources outside of the company.

In addition to the problems with planning and deployment, TCS found firms stricken with a continuing shortage of qualified data analysts. The study found that issues with finding qualified staff for big data platforms were among the five most common issues facing enterprises.

Of those who do move to adopt big data, the study found companies are spending more in their efforts, with the average investment topping $80m. When applied, the study found that big data analysis seems to be best-suited for companies who are seeing digital initiatives combine with their brick-and-mortar operations.

"Going digital seems to be very important, the more digital channels that you use in commerce the more benefit that people get out of big data," Ramaswamy explained.

"One of the big benefits of big data seems to be to provide people in physical spaces with digital services, and that is one of the factors that has led to big data growth."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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