Big Data Survey Reveals More Tricks Than Treats

Enterprise information looks more like Frankenstein than Superman; Big Data ROI delivery time is 2-3 times slower than expected

Oct 29, 2013, 09:00 ET from Attivio

NEWTON, Mass., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Companies investing in Big Data initiatives are waiting 18-24 months to see return on their investment (ROI) and only 3 percent give their enterprise information "Superman" status, according to a recent Halloween-themed survey. The alarming gap in anticipated ROI versus reality is just one horror revealed in the Big Data survey conducted by unified information access (UIA) software leader Attivio.

When asked what Halloween costume best describes their company's enterprise information,
50 percent answered "Harry Potter – a rising wizard filled with potential but facing many challenges."

"Like Pinocchio – well intentioned but prone to telling lies" and "Little Bo Peep trying to find all the lost sheep," both received 15 percent of the responses. Finally, 16 percent equate their enterprise information – from databases to text-based human-generated content – to "Frankenstein: misunderstood, tormented and downright ugly."

Additional findings include:

  • Only 5 percent say they have no Big Data issues and are as happy as a witch in a broom factory;
  • 40 percent complain that they have too many coffins where data goes to die;
  • 55 percent admit that combining data and content sources requires a team of mad scientists.

Most shockingly, when it comes to ROI, there is a large discrepancy between expectation and reality. When asked how long they are willing to wait for the "ROI cauldron to bubble over with value,"
66 percent said less than 12 months. Despite this expectation (or vendor promise), 52 percent have been waiting more than 12 months, with 32 percent waiting 18-24 months.

"It is incomprehensible that Big Data, or any technology initiative for that matter, would take two years to return value on a company's investment when it can, and should, happen within the first 90 days," said Ali Riaz, CEO of Attivio. "One of the reasons for this slow time to value is that traditional approaches to Big Data segregate information in disconnected silos and require costly, time-consuming and inflexible data modeling in order to integrate them."

Attivio's survey results reflect findings from a recent Gartner survey. According to Gartner Analyst 
Roy Schulte's September 10, 2013 presentation, "Big Data and Analytics Strategy Essentials and Examples," 48 percent of Gartner survey respondents cited the variety of information as the Big Data characteristic that poses the biggest issue for their organization, while 35 percent selected volume and 16 percent said velocity. 

On a promising note, the Attivio Big Data survey found that 38 percent of respondents maintain a positive outlook and say their ROI trick-or-treat bag is "half full."

To see the full Attivio Halloween Big Data survey, click here. Updated results will be posted to the Attivio blog at the stroke of midnight on October 31.

About Attivio
Attivio's unified information access platform, the Active Intelligence Engine® (AIE®), redefines the business impact of our customers' information assets, so they can quickly seize opportunities, solve critical challenges and fulfill their strategic vision. 

Attivio integrates and correlates disparate silos of structured data and unstructured content in ways never before possible.  Offering both intuitive search capabilities and the power of SQL, AIE seamlessly integrates with existing BI and big data tools to reveal insight that matters, through the access method that best suits each user's technical skills and priorities. Please visit us at

Attivio and Active Intelligence Engine are trademarks of Attivio, Inc. All other names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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SOURCE Attivio