Big Data Brings Opportunities and Challenges, New CompTIA Study Finds

Sep 12, 2012, 09:15 ET from CompTIA

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most organizations need to address a range of core data needs and technology infrastructure issues before launching big data initiatives, research released today by CompTIA, the non-profit association for the information technology (IT) industry, suggests.

CompTIA's Big Data Insights and Opportunities study finds low levels of familiarity – only 37 percent of IT and business executives report being very familiar or mostly familiar with the concept. Approximately one in five businesses claim to have a big data initiative underway; 36 percent plan to embark on one in the next 12 months,

"As expected for an emerging technology with an evolving definition, many executives are still moving along the big data learning curve," said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA.

"Not every business will need a big data strategy," Herbert continued. "But just about every business will need to effectively aggregate, store, manage and analyze the data they do have, regardless of its volume, velocity or variety."

Slightly more than one-third of survey respondents say they are exactly or very close to where they want to be in managing and using data. In relatively few areas do businesses report proficiency – just 20 percent of respondents say they are currently doing well at analyzing web traffic patterns; 15 percent at measuring email marketing campaign effectiveness; and 12 percent at social media monitoring

"Basic work needs to be done before many companies are ready for a big data initiative," Herbert noted. "Many companies are still struggling with analytics, storage, backup and business continuity."

The study reveals other data-related challenges:

  • Nearly three in four companies report a high or moderately high degree of data silos within their organization.
  • Many do not have a complete or accurate understanding of their data profile.
  • Just one in three companies have a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place.

"Big data initiatives often require bringing together technical, analytical, statistical and creative thinking skills," said Herbert. "Historically, these skill sets have been somewhat compartmentalized, a situation many companies will need to address."

Slightly more than half of companies (53 percent) plan to invest in training to further develop the skills of current employees. Thirty-two percent expect to explore hiring options to add new staff with the desire expertise.

The CompTIA study Big Data Insights and Opportunities is the result of two online surveys conducted in July 2012. The first involved 500 U.S. IT and business executives responsible for technical or strategic decisions affecting data and their company; the second, 435 executives at U.S. IT firms, with most having some level of involvement with the IT channel.

For more information, visit or follow CompTIA at and