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IBM and Oxford Survey Looks at “Big Data” 

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Lack of advanced analytics skills for tackling unstructured data represents biggest challenge.

While most companies recognize the potential of big data to improve decision making in their operations, they struggle with how to get started.  A new report, “Analytics: The Real-World Use of Big Data,” is based on a global survey of 1,144 business and IT professionals from 95 countries and 26 industries.

The organizations define “big data” as the weather, the economy, or the sentiment and truthfulness of people expressed on social networks.  Companies are not sure if they can trust comments, reviews, tweets and other forms of online opinions.  IBM and the University of Oxford’s school of business researchers say that social media data contains valuable information, while acknowledging there are trustworthiness challenges. They say companies should embrace and manage data uncertainty and determine how to use it to their advantage.

Overcoming the skills gap and ability to analyze unstructured data is also a challenge to companies. Traditional databases aren’t suited to process information such as text, sensor data, geospatial data, audio, images and video, as well as streaming data.

“Across industries and geographies, the survey found that organizations are taking a pragmatic approach to big data,” says Michael Schroeck, Global Information Management Leader, IBM Global Business Services. “While the majority of them are still in the early stages of adoption, leading organizations are beginning to derive significant value from their big data initiatives.”

The report provides a global snapshot of how organizations view big data and what they are doing to tackle the challenges of processing the data, as well as how they are engaged in using this data to benefit their business.

For complete details, visit www.ibm.com/bigdata.

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