Are These 3 Cultural Challenges Stalling Your BigData Initiative?
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Are These 3 Cultural Challenges Stalling Your BigData Initiative?

Cultural Challenges Impact Success of Big Data Initiatives

Harnessing cultural change will harvest greater adoption, according to TCS global trend report

- 79% of leaders in Big Data are doing analysis outside of business units, with 42% using their existing IT function and 37% creating a separate Big Data function

- US shows widest adoption of Big Data initiatives (68%), followed by Latin America (51%), Europe (45%) and Asia Pacific (39%)

MUMBAI, India, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – The toughest challenges for businesses implementing Big Data initiatives is getting different business units to share information across organisational silos and determining what data to use for different business decisions according to The Emerging Big Returns from Big Data global trend report.
These 2 cultural challenges were being closely followed by the technological challenge of being able to handle the large volume, velocity and variety of Big Data[1].

Commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), the leading IT services, consulting and business solutions firm, the research also reveals how the Big Data leaders[2] differ from the laggards[3] and the returns business are expecting.

Satya Ramaswamy, Vice President and Global Head of Mobility and Next Gen Solutions in TCS comments…

“Big Data has enormous potential and early adopters are projecting a high ROI on investments.

“However, overcoming the technological challenges is only part of the story.

“Businesses need to carefully think where Big Data initiatives should sit within the organisation, how to break down internal silos and look beyond just internal and structured data sets.

“To realise the full potential of Big Data, businesses also need to consider the potential cultural changes within the organisation to speed-up its adoption.”

Leaders and Laggards

Leaders in Big Data differ most from the laggards in 3 main ways – where they analyse and process Big Data, the mix of data they use, and their Big Data spend…

Analysis & Process Location

Leaders in Big Data are doing analysis outside of business units (BUs), 79% of them are using the IT function or a separate Big Data team, with only 21% doing the analysis in BUs; the laggards on the other hand are doing only 68% of their analysis outside of the BUs.

Data Mix Used

The leaders are also using more unstructured and semi-structured data (55%), and external data (37%), than the laggards who are using 46% unstructured and semi-structured data, and 26% external data.

Budget Differences

The most marked difference is that leaders spent $24 million in 2012 and expect to spend $26 million by 2015, whereas the laggards spent $7 million in 2012 and expect to spend $13 million by 2015.

Regardless of whether they’re leaders or laggards, nearly half (44%) of Big Data investments are going to business functions on the revenue side: sales, marketing and R&D / new product development; much less (24%) is going to back-office functions: IT, finance and HR.

US Shows Widest Adoption of Big Data Initiatives

A regional breakdown shows that US companies are leading adoption of Big Data initiatives (68%), followed by Latin America (51%), Europe (45%) and Asia Pacific (39%).

TCS designed the study to focus on consumer industries, both manufacturing and service companies, in four regions of the world: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

The online survey was fielded by ResearchNow and included 1,217 participants (643 of who had had Big Data initiatives and went on to complete a 23-question survey).

Qualitative interviews were also completed with 12 best-practice companies.

Retailers Lead in Big Data

Despite the challenges and disparity in success, many businesses are confident of high ROIs from Big Data.

Of those that had programs in 2012, 43% predicted an ROI of more than 25% in 2012.

Retail businesses have the greatest number of leaders in Big Data with 35% of respondents expecting ROIs greater than 50% in 2012.

They were closely followed by energy & resources (33%), banking and financial services (33%), high tech (27%), and media and entertainment (25%).

In last place were consumer goods businesses with just 17% expecting ROIs greater than 50% in 2012.

Aside from the vertical disparity, geographies also differ greatly in their ROI predictions: Asia-Pacific expected the highest ROI (71%), followed by Latin America (64%) and Europe (43%). The lowest expect ROI was in the US (37%).

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[1] When participants were asked, “what are the greatest challenges to capitalizing on Big Data?” the top 4 responses were:

  1. Getting business units to share information across organizational silos
  1. Being able to handle the large volume, velocity and variety of Big Data
  1. Determining what data (both structured and unstructured, and internal and external) to use for different business decisions
  1. Building high levels of trust between the data scientists who present insights on Big Data and the functional managers.
  1. Finding and hiring data scientists who can manage large amounts of structured and unstructured data and create insights

[2] Leaders = Businesses that expected an ROI of greater than 50% from their Big Data programs in 2012.

[3] Laggards = Business that expected an ROI of negative to + 25% from their Big Data programs in 2012.

What Are Your Thoughts?

   Looks like Big Data is a numbers game in more than several ways — the more you use it, the more you work on outside business units, and the more budget you have, then this report indicates you are a leader… Question is – are you? HR is being tapped on the shoulder for Big Data analytics — question is, what training and education does anyone in HR have compared to HRIS? HR Tech? IT? Data analysis personnel?

   Everyone hears about Big Data — does your department and/or company have any use for this? Obviously, this is good for many things, but does the end-user need to be a large company? Why not a SMB or micro business?

   What questions do you have about this report and Big Data in general that The HRIS World can discuss here? or consider for an article?

Please share your thoughts with us and our audience in the comments section below! Or you can reach us directly from our contact page.

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About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS)

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT servicesconsulting, and business solutions organization that delivers real results to global business, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of ITBPO, infrastructureengineering and assurance services. This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model™, recognised as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, India’s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 263,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 44 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $10.17 billion for year ended March 31, 2012 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. For more information, visit us at

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Source Tata Consultancy Services


Global, [email protected], +91 22 6778 9999, or Europe, [email protected], +32 22821927, or UK, [email protected], +44207245 1800, or India, [email protected], +91 22 6778 9078, or [email protected], +91 22 6778 9081, or USA / Canada, [email protected], +1 646 313 4594, or Asia Pacific, [email protected], +65 9139 3668, or Australia and New Zealand, [email protected], +61 (2) 8456 2800

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