Press Release

Cultural challenges impact success of Big Data initiatives

Commissioned by TCS, The Emerging Big Returns from Big Data global trend report reveals how the Big Data leaders differ from the laggards and the returns businesses are expecting.
  • 79% of leaders in Big Data are doing analysis outside of business units, with 42% using their existing IT function and 37% creating a separate Big Data function.
  • US shows widest adoption of Big Data initiatives (68%), followed by Latin America (51%), Europe (45%) and Asia Pacific (39%).
  • Retailers predict greatest levels of ROI (50%).

Mumbai, March 21, 2013: The toughest challenge for businesses implementing Big Data initiatives is getting different business units to share information across organizational silos and determining what data to use for different business decisions, according to The Emerging Big Returns from Big Data global trend report. These two cultural challenges are closely followed by the technological challenge of being able to handle the large volume, velocity and variety of Big Data1. Commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), the leading IT services, consulting and business solutions firm, the research also reveals how the Big Data leaders2 differ from the laggards3 and the returns businesses are expecting. 

Satya Ramaswamy, Vice President and Global Head, Mobility and Next Gen Solutions, TCS comments, “Big Data has enormous potential and early adopters are projecting a high ROI on investments. However, overcoming the technological challenges is only part of the story. Businesses need to carefully think where Big Data initiatives should sit within the organization, how to break down internal silos and look beyond just internal and structured data sets. To realize the full potential of Big Data, businesses also need to consider the potential cultural changes within the organization to speed up its adoption.”

Leaders and laggards
Leaders in Big Data differ most from the laggards in three main ways – where they analyze and process Big Data, the mix of data they use and their Big Data spend.

  • Leaders in Big Data are doing analysis outside of business units (BUs) - 79% of them are using the IT function or a separate Big Data team, with only 21% doing the analysis in BUs. The laggards on the other hand are doing only 68% of their analysis outside of the BUs.
  • The leaders are also using more unstructured and semi-structured data (55%), and external data (37%), than the laggards who are using 46% unstructured and semi-structured data, and 26% external data.
  • The most marked difference is that leaders spent $24 million in 2012 and expect to spend $26 million by 2015, whereas the laggards spent $7 million in 2012 and expect to spend $13 million by 2015.

Regardless of whether they’re leaders or laggards, nearly half (44%) of Big Data investments are going to business functions on the revenue side: sales, marketing and R&D/new product development. Much less (24%) is going to back-office functions: IT, finance and HR.

The US shows the widest adoption of Big Data initiatives
A regional breakdown shows that the US companies are leading the adoption of Big Data initiatives (68%), followed by Latin America (51%), Europe (45%) and Asia Pacific (39%).

Retailers lead the pack in Big Data
Despite the challenges and disparity in success, many businesses are confident of high ROIs from Big Data. Of those that had programs in 2012, 43% predicted an ROI of more than 25% in 2012. Retail businesses have the greatest number of leaders in Big Data with 35% of respondents expecting ROIs greater than 50% in 2012. They were closely followed by energy & resources (33%), banking and financial services (33%), high tech (27%), and media and entertainment (25%). In last place were consumer goods businesses with just 17% expecting ROIs greater than 50% in 2012.

Aside from the vertical disparity, geographies also differ greatly in their ROI predictions. Asia-Pacific expected the highest ROI (71%), followed by Latin America (64%) and Europe (43%). The lowest expect ROI was in the US (37%).

For more information, please visit www.tcs.com/BigDataStudy 

Footnotes:
1 When participants were asked, “what are the greatest challenges to capitalizing on Big Data?” the top four responses were:

  • Getting business units to share information across organizational silos
  • Being able to handle the large volume, velocity and variety of Big Data
  • Determining what data (both structured and unstructured, and internal and external) to use for different business decisions
  • Building high levels of trust between the data scientists who present insights on Big Data and the functional managers
  • Finding and hiring data scientists who can manage large amounts of structured and unstructured data and create insights

2 Leaders = Businesses that expected an ROI of greater than 50% from their Big Data programs in 2012.

3 Laggards = Businesses that expected an ROI of negative to + 25% from their Big Data programs in 2012.  

Note to editors:
TCS designed the study to focus on consumer industries, both manufacturing and service companies, in four regions of the world: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. The online survey was fielded by ResearchNow and included 1,217 participants (643 of who had had Big Data initiatives and went on to complete a 23-question survey). Qualitative interviews were also completed with 12 best-practice companies.

About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS)
Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that delivers real results to global business, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT, BPO, infrastructure, engineering and assurance services. This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model™, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, India’s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 263,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 44 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $10.17 billion for year ended March 31, 2012 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. For more information, visit us at www.tcs.com.

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