Big data holds great potential for businesses
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Big data holds great potential for businesses

Big data has made a major impact on the business landscape. Now that the technologies exist to leverage large stores of unstructured information, it is possible for companies to reach new heights if they effectively harness these resources. With all of this data, leaders can gain the insight needed to streamline internal operations, develop innovative initiatives and offer customers more personalized service.

However, despite the potential of big data, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: Many enterprises are not taking full advantage of its positive aspects. Especially for small businesses, implementing successful big data projects can be challenging. Though the answers may not always be simple, it's possible for firms to get the most out of their technologies by utilizing leading IT solutions and using IT planning services.

Opportunities aplenty
ZDNet reported that at The Economist's recent 2013 Information Forum, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt emphasized that the potential benefits of big data are great, especially for companies. He explained that while these technologies may not have seemed like the next big thing even just a few years ago, demands for analytics have exploded. In fact, organizations in every industry are expressing interest in leveraging internally produced information to gain a competitive advantage.

But Schmidt was careful to explain that making the most of the big data trend is not about simply deploying solutions. In fact, the data itself isn't even necessarily useful on its own.

"The real value is created by innovators that come up with algorithms that do something surprisingly useful," Schmidt pointed out.

The positive impact of these technologies is realized when experts are able to implement them thoughtfully to make sense of information that may have once been viewed as unusable. If true insight isn't being gained, firms are likely to fall short of their goals.

In a separate article, ZDNet noted that unfortunately, some enterprises that have invested in big data technologies have experienced trouble achieving their intended goals. According to a study from International Data Group (IDG), while 90 percent of respondents said that big data can be useful in the decision-making process, 50 percent said they had only experienced "lukewarm success" with their projects.

The study revealed, however, that one of the biggest barriers to big data victories for businesses is a lack of support. When asked what prevented them from drawing value from their big data solutions, one of the most common answers was that existing employees were not knowledgeable enough to use them properly. In fact, IT professionals with the right expertise were required.

As more business leaders realize the importance of harnessing emerging technologies, they need to be sure that they are doing all they can to ensure their success. The potential benefits, from cost and time savings to higher customer engagement, are too critical for companies to leave big data out of their information technology implementation strategies. With skilled service providers at their side, organizations can realize their goals.