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Fortune 1000 Organizations Leverage Big Data to Make Better Business Decisions

December 7, 2012

The final installment of an exclusive Big Data Executive Survey finds that 85 percent of the Fortune 1000 C-Suite executives queried have already launched Big Data initiatives, with the primary reason for these investments being to enable data-driven decision-making resulting in smarter business decisions. Subsequent research also revealed that a critical business driver for these executives is to accelerate the speed at which they can get to a decision -- something the survey refers to as "Time-to-Answer" (TTA).

The summary report -- Big Data Executive Survey Part III: Creating a Big Data Environment to Accelerate Business Value -- was released today by NewVantage Partners, the premier consultancy focused on guiding business and technology executives in the creation of strategic solutions that harness the power of their data. The research unveils the top Big Data priorities of Fortune 1000 C-Suite executives and federal government leaders, offering a rare look at the following:

The tangible benefits they hope to achieve through their Big Data initiatives

How they view the potential of Big Data with respect to overall existing data management and advanced analytics programs

The Big Data capabilities and features that are most important to them

The Big Data approaches that they plan to adopt

How they will create a Big Data environment that accelerates Time-to-Answer

The vast majority of survey respondents -- primarily from large organizations such as GE, the Department of Defense, CitiGroup, Wells Fargo Bank, CVS/Caremark, Aetna, American Express and Freddie Mac, among others -- are fully prepared to invest in Big Data initiatives that will deliver real business value, with particular emphasis on improving their data-driven decision-making by accelerating the process of answering critical business questions -- referred to in the report as Time-to-Answer. Survey findings show that firms are leveraging Big Data technologies and processes to create data environments that enable executives and data scientists to ask more questions and get answers faster. The survey found that Big Data capabilities are enhancing traditional analytics, with 68 percent of survey respondents noting that "Big Data is already part of the advanced analytics toolbox."

"Big Data is enabling organizations to accelerate the speed with which they can derive answers to critical business questions, resulting in greater data-driven decision-making" according to Paul Barth, co-founder and managing partner, NewVantage Partners. "This drives real business value for companies. Executives can answer critical business questions that previously took days, weeks, or months, and required significant data engineering. Big Data enables executives to short-cut this process."

To create a Big Data environment that accelerates Time-to-Answer, respondents are supplementing traditional data environments with less expensive Hadoop, Grid, appliances and other specialized systems. When asked about data management approaches they are considering, 85 percent of respondents selected distributed file systems (Hadoop, Grid) while 45 percent are remaining with traditional relational databases.

"Emerging technologies and methodologies -- including Hadoop, Cloudera, database appliances, accelerators and self-learning and genetic algorithms -- can dramatically reduce Time-to-Answer," said Barth. "The key is streamlining the time it takes from a critical question being asked to the generation of a business insight." According to Barth, strong governance and the oversight of known data capabilities must coexist with agile data analysis to pave the way for new data discoveries. "Organizations with the ability to create an ebb and flow between dynamic discovery and scalable execution will be well-positioned to capitalize on market opportunities and build an advantage over their competitors."

The survey concludes with insight on how to create Big Data environments that accelerate Time-to-Answer. Barth believes that Big Data must be viewed as an ecosystem: capture and create data, cleanse and organize it, mine business insights from it, and use those insights to continuously drive intelligent business actions. This must be a closed loop that feeds data back into the system to allow companies to use data to test, learn and improve processes. First, however, Barth warns that organizations must take the time to plan carefully and have established practices for creating and managing high quality data assets.

NewVantage's Big Data Executive Survey Part III: Creating a Big Data Environment to Accelerate Business Value is the final installment of the firm's landmark study. The survey posed 65 in-depth questions designed to provide a useful benchmark for organizations seeking to better understand the state of Big Data initiatives among peer institutions. Over fifty executives from leading Fortune 1000 firms and large Federal agencies participated in the survey, including Chief Data Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Analytics Officers, Chief Information Architects, Line-of-Business Heads and senior Function Heads (SVP/VP).

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Source: Copyright Business Wire 2012

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