Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Out-Law News 2 min. read

Many businesses lack a "strategic plan" on how to utilise big data, according to Cisco survey

More than a third of businesses that have the ability to bring together 'big data' have still to set out how they will make use of the information, according to a new survey.

According to a report by Cisco, which charts the views of 1,800 IT professionals based in 18 countries including the UK, US, China and Germany, 38% of those who said their firms had a "big data solution" also said that their firms "need a strategic plan to take advantage" of the information they hold.

"While most companies are collecting, storing and analyzing data, the report reveals that many are struggling with both the business and IT challenges of big data," Cisco said in a statement. "For example, while 60% of survey respondents agreed that big data will help improve decision making and increase their competitiveness, only 28% report that they are currently generating strategic value from their data."

The IT professionals detailed what they perceived to be the barriers businesses face to utilizing big data technology, Cisco said.

"More than one in four respondents globally (27%) said data security and risk management is a major concern," according to a summary of the Cisco Connected World Technology report on big data (1-page / 87KB PDF). "They cited volume of data, the number of ways to access data, and lack of budget for security as the top reasons why securing data in Big Data projects is such a challenge."

The majority of the respondents thought that businesses' big data projects would lead to an increase in IT budgets, whilst 81% said that at least some of the projects would require "cloud computing capabilities".

Big data will also have an effect on the size of the networks businesses will operate, the IT professionals said. Almost half of respondents expect their firms' "network loads" to double over the next two years, whilst 23% expect the load to triple.

Almost three quarters of the IT professionals said that their businesses' big data projects would account for data generated in "real-time" from "digital sensors, smart meters, video, and other non-traditional networked 'smart devices'". However, just a third said that firms "have a plan in place to take advantage of these new data sources".

Information law specialist Marc Dautlich of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, previously said that companies must challenge themselves to address legal questions on intellectual property rights before developing big data analysis and technologies into business processes.

"It is really important that what companies think through are some fundamentals from a legal perspective," Dautlich said earlier this month. "Intellectual property rights – who owns the input data companies are using in their analysis and who owns the output – in big data technologies are at least as important as data privacy issues which have perhaps been more widely reported. This is particularly relevant where there are third parties involved and is because big data applications may not always necessarily involve personal data."

Dautlich said, though, that businesses that use big data are able to glean a better quality of information to inform their decision making.

"Given the increase in the availability and now the usability of data that organisations increasingly gather, businesses are able to make business decisions informed by evidence rather than gut reaction," he said. "Big data is clearly a more rational way to do business than guess work and across many sectors the question is when and how they will best make use of the possibilities, rather than if. One area where we are currently seeing a lot of activity is in the retail sector – they are early adopters."

Tesco recently announced the launch of a new big data project – a new online TV and movie service for its Clubcard users. It said that it would sell Clubcard data - information about shoppers' in-store purchases - to advertisers in order that the service could be used for free. Advertisers would then be able to serve personalised adverts to Clubcard users based on their purchasing habits in order to target consumers who had bought rival products, whilst the information could also reveal whether particular advertising campaigns prompted shoppers into buying their products, according to a report by the Financial Times

We are processing your request. \n Thank you for your patience. An error occurred. This could be due to inactivity on the page - please try again.