IBM, University of Oxford Reveal Big Data Trends

IBM is back in the Big Data spotlight. A few days ago we noted the company’s predictive analytics software and services. Now Big Blue has released the results of a survey developed by the IBM Institute for Business Value and the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

The report is based on the Big Data @ Work Survey conducted last year by IBM, which involved 1144 professionals from 96 countries and 26 industries. Respondents included business professionals (64 percent) and IT professionals (46 percent).

Not surprisingly, the report partners found that nearly two thirds of the respondents (63 percent) indicate that the use of information (including Big Data) has created a competitive advantage for their organization. This compares to 37 percent of the respondents answering a similar question in an IBM survey conducted in 2010 – a 70 percent increase in two years.

But IBM and the Oxford researchers were surprised to learn that social media data has a relatively small impact on the current big data marketplace.

Given the extensive press coverage about social data’s impact on customer experiences, it would be easy to believe that big data means social media data, but only 7 percent of respondents defined big data that way,” the report notes. “And fewer than half of respondents with active big data initiatives reported collecting and analyzing social media data; instead, respondents told us they use existing internal sources of data in their current big data efforts.”

The report goes on to identify two important trends. The first is that today’s digitization of virtually everything is creating new types of data, much of it non-standard (unstructured) “…that does not fit neatly into traditional, structured, relational warehouses.” And the second trend – also no surprise – is that “Today’s advanced analytics technologies and techniques enable organizations to extract insights from data with previously unachievable levels of sophistication, speed and accuracy”

Obviously the 20-page report provides a lot more detail, including offering five recommendations for organizations wishing to take the plunge into Big Data.

Read the Full Report (registration required).

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