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Big Data Remains Promising, but Tricky to Manage, Survey Finds

Many CEOs and other C-level executives are starting to familiarize themselves with Big Data and learning about the potential benefits these projects can deliver. However, many decision-makers are still unsure how to properly manage increasingly large volumes of complex information sets. If businesses want to optimize performance through the use of data and analytics, they'll need to find innovative ways to maintain various digital assets without compromising efficiency.

Although most companies have the desire and need to analyze Big Data, many firms are still struggling to build a plan that integrates supporting technologies and strategies into the overall initiatives. This trend was highlighted in a recent KPMG Capital survey of nearly 150 CFOs and CIOs, which found that 75 percent of respondents think it's difficult to make decisions based on data and analytics, even though nearly all executives believe these processes are critical.

"We live in an increasingly data-driven world where D&A has the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct and manage business operations across the entire enterprise," said Mark Toon, CEO of KPMG Capital. "From CEOs, to CFOs, CIOs, and CMOs, the challenge for today's executive is understanding how to draw actionable insights from data and turn them into tangible, genuine results."

Challenges create speed limits
KPMG Capital found that 80 percent of respondents said improving agility and speed is one of the biggest benefits associated with analyzing Big Data sets. However, the inability to determine which information sets to analyze, as well as general management complications, impact how well firms can experience these advantages.

A Computer Weekly report noted that the underlying philosophies outlining Big Data management are still relatively new, which is creating unforeseen challenges for many organizations. Yet these obstacles shouldn't deter businesses from pursuing the projects. Specifically, decision-makers should look for partners that can provide cloud infrastructure environments that can help analyze massive volumes of information in a scalable way.

Organizations must also be wary of how quickly they assess data. Computer Weekly stated that easy-to-access Big Data projects can introduce greater risk, which should encourage executives to review service-level agreements and adapt management strategies as Big Data initiatives progress.

Information is the key to insight, which is critical to improving operations. By understanding what constitutes a Big Data initiative and all the aspects of such projects, companies will likely find embarking on the quests less complex and more rewarding.

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