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Management Still Needs to be Educated on ‘Big Data’

Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, recently observed that most mainstream business executives are having trouble getting their heads around the utility of “Big Data.” As he put it, many executives have troubling making the connection between vast stores of information and business value: “Executives evinced little enthusiasm for 100X more customer data was that they couldn’t envision or align it with a desirable business outcome. Would offering 1000X or 10,000X more data been more persuasive? Hardly. Neither the quantity nor quality of data was the issue. What matters is how — and why — vastly more data leads to vastly greater value creation.”

A new survey from CompTIA – a tech industry association – validates Schrage’s observations. Executives don’t quite know what it is, and they don’t know where to apply it. But they sense it’s something important that they need to press forward with. The survey of 500 businesses finds low levels of familiarity – only 37% of IT and business executives report being very familiar or mostly familiar with the concept of Big Data. Approximately one in five organizations, 19%, claim to have a big data initiative underway, while 36% plan to embark on one in the next 12 months. (more…)

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