Would you run your business with only 0.5 percent of your workforce? Could you succeed with just that percentage of your data center utilized? Of course not. And you would never make strategic decisions with only a half a percent of the information available to you. No one in their right mind would do that.

But when it comes to extracting value from Big Data, it’s what most enterprises do every day.

The IDC report, “The Digital Universe in 2020[1]estimates that:

  • 25 percent of today’s rapidly expanding digital universe contains information that might be valuable if analyzed.
  • The amount of information that is “tagged” for potential analysis accounts for only about 3 percent (a generous estimate).
  • The part which is analyzed is a mere half a percent.

Big Data is a big discussion topic. So why is that 0.5 percent figure so low? In addition to the volume, velocity, variety and complexity of Big Data driving the projected 50-fold growth in the Digital Universe from 2010 to 2020, there are three reasons companies analyze so little of it. First, there is a seismic shift in the sources and destinations of Big Data. Second, much of the data must be analyzed real-time, or it rapidly loses value. Third, the data analytics skill gap continues to expand. Details about all three factors are highlighted in IDC’s Digital Universe report, while others were called out at IDC Predictions 2013: Big Data Battle for Dominance in the Intelligent Economy on Jan. 8. They include:

  • Third Platform: Information is shifting from “First and Second Platform” computing (Mainframe/Terminal and LAN/Internet/Client/Server, respectively) to the Third Platform of mobile devices and apps and the cloud.
  • The Geography of the digital universe itself is shifting dramatically from the U.S. and Western Europe to emerging markets (China, India and rest of world).
  • Consumers are generating and consuming a lion’s share of information—yet enterprises that touch it have legal obligations to secure and protect it.
  • Time-shift: Investment requirements are shifting from analyzing historical or recently captured information to real-time analytics of machine generated data
  • Investment priorities already are moving from finding information to discovering insights from it.
  • Skills Match: with everything changing so much and so fast, internal skills gaps within companies are becoming a high priority.

Other companies are already taking action against these challenges. What should you do? For a CIO, a holistic approach is the only way to handle the onslaught of data challenges. At a strategy level, it includes these crucial steps:

1. Create an information or Big Data strategy to capture, store, replicate and scale data at speeds required by the business. When data is monetized to satisfy your business needs, IT can prove its value. By mapping the value of data to the business, your focused KPIs and better margins resoundingly prove IT’s value.

2. Get all key stakeholders involved to bring you, your C-suite stakeholders, lines of business, and technology staff to the same table. Your goals include gaining insight into your supply chain for process management and improvement, improving end-user mobility for field sales and operations, integrating social media for customer engagement and acquisition and addressing compliance and risk management. You need all the right people in on the dialog.

3. Identify and select an experienced technology partner that can deliver the solutions, and results, you need. They should offer an intelligent end-to-end approach designed for Big Data that includes:

  • Openness: open standards, open source leadership, no ‘lock-in strategy’ and multi-distribution support;
  • Differentiated Solutions: demonstrated by things such as record-setting performance on Hadoop, industry-leading scale-out and networking in Converged Infrastructure, and worldwide support; and,
  • Experience: a track record of success in implementing and supporting Big Data initiatives that have had material impact on businesses.  

In the meantime, how are you doing? Are you able to extract value from the data within your enterprise? Are you leveraging above or below the half percent average? Would you like to compare notes with your industry peers to see if and how you can move above –far above—that average?

You can learn more about how HP can help harness the Power of Big Data at www.hp.com/go/information