55% midmarket businesses plan big data projects: Dell survey

41 percent of midmarket businesses have one or more big data projects already in place, with another 55 percent planning to start one in near future, said a Dell survey.

More midmarket firms plan to use big data analysis to grow their businesses, rather than find ways to cut costs, according to the November 2013 survey from 300 IT decision makers in midmarket organizations (businesses with around 2,000 and 5,000 employees) from United States, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific regions.

Dell said 80 percent agree they need to better analyze their expanding data collections. Their top goals include improve product quality, seize business opportunities and speed decision-making.

89 percent with a big data initiative in progress report significant improvements in company decision making.

Darin Bartik, executive director, product management, information management, Dell Software

Encouraged by early success, respondents expect big data budgets to rise from between $2 million and $5 million up to an average of $6 million in the next two years as companies invest more in hardware, software and training, Dell said.

The biggest drivers of big data project success are IT/business collaboration, proper skills, and performance management to gauge the effects of big data initiatives.

The most influential departments in big data projects are IT and sales/marketing.

The most valuable technologies for midmarket companies running big data initiatives are real-time data processing, predictive analytics and data visualization tools.

Their top three project goals are to provide better quality products and services, take advantage of new business opportunities, and improve the quality and speed of decision-making. Those goals are followed closely by gaining a better understanding of customer needs, having the ability to respond quickly to competitive threats, and improving the effectiveness of their marketing programs.

Though many midmarket companies are getting started with big data projects, those projects have had an immediate and positive impact on their organization’s productivity and success.

50 percent of organizations with a big data initiative in flight are satisfied with the quality and speed of their decision making, compared to 23 percent among those yet to kick off a big data project.

49 percent of organizations with a big data project in progress are satisfied with their ability to improve product quality, compared to 32 percent of those organizations still in the planning phase, said Dell.

47 percent of organizations in production with a big data initiative are satisfied with their ability to identify and take advantage of new business opportunities, compared to 24 percent of those organizations whose initial big data project is still in development.

Darin Bartik, executive director, product management, information management, Dell Software, said: The early success midmarket companies are seeing with their big data initiatives will encourage more growth and investment, and additional returns on that investment will be achieved as they dive further into different datasets and embrace ever-improving analytic capabilities.”

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  1. You all know the old adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably
    is”. That holds good for what is
    mentioned in the above article- “an astounding 96 percent of midmarket
    organizations are either already in flight with a big data initiative or plan
    to start one in the next year.” That is simply NOT true.

    This article is based on Dell’s press release titled “Midmarket Companies
    Aggressively Embrace Big Data Projects“ –
    Your article says that 96% (41% + 55%) of the midmarket organizations surveyed
    are either implementing a big data project or planning to launch one soon. Such
    a near-total use of big data in the midmarket would be stupendous! But, it
    doesn’t pass the simple ‘sniff test’. I dug some more and read through the
    original survey report. It turns out that the survey was of companies already
    using analytics, already using big data in combination with analytics or
    already considering a big data initiative. The title of the press release makes
    it sound that the ’embrace’ is across the entire midmarket.

    YOUR ARTICLE DOES NOT MENTION that the companies surveyed were already using or
    actively considering implementing the use of big data.

    What we know for sure – now – is that big data adoption is not pervasive as the
    press release (and the article) indicated about a month ago. The survey found
    that several larger midmarket companies (2,000-5,000 employees) are leveraging
    big data. The study was a useful requirements gathering exercise for Dell’s
    product management group, not findings that can be extrapolated across the
    entire midmarket. It was not even about a representative sampling of companies
    with 2,000-5,000 employee segment of the midmarket.

    Read the complete blog post at the Midmarket Institute website at