Executives challenged with big-data applications

Anuradha Shukla

Many senior leaders still struggle with big-data applications, according to a new survey of more than 395 C-level executives by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Most top executives find big data to be a useful tool, and 23% said it will revolutionise the way business is managed. More than one-in-five (21%) consider big data essential to managing increasing information flow.

The Platfora sponsored report advises businesses to take an integrated approach to big-data implementation.

42% of C-level executives said that customer insights and targeting are their highest priority for the application of big data.

"The survey highlights executive optimism for big data. They know there is value in it for their businesses, but in order to reap its rewards depends on leadership that ensures that all levels benefit from, as well as promote, big data use," said Janie Hulse, the editor of the report.  

Cultural shift

A cultural shift towards big data can be reached with the right leadership but enterprises are not sure who should lead big-data adoption.

Executives at senior level in organisations are toying with several ideas that can help them use big data strategically to add business value

The majority of the respondents want to have a deeper knowledge of the underlying data-related technologies and the report predicts this need for better understanding will grow in future.

This need will grow as the application of big data across a variety of corporate activities will increase beyond customer facing functions in future. 

Although there is a lack of clear leadership, most respondents have a very optimistic outlook for big data's application. The report indicates that the companies should move beyond just wanting to be a data-driven organisation and take steps to ensure that the use of big-data analytics is fully integrated into the corporate culture.