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article imageBig data strategies disappoint with 85 percent failure rate

By James Walker     Nov 23, 2017 in Technology
Big data projects aren't delivering the transformations companies had anticipated. 85% of all big data strategies are failing due to a combination of challenges, including the problems presented by legacy technologies and pre-existing corporate biases.
Digital transformation is one of the biggest business buzzwords of the moment but firms are still failing to get their plans off the ground. Last year, Gartner claimed that 60 percent of big data projects fail. In a tweet spotted by TechRepublic earlier this month, Gartner analyst Nick Heudecker said the estimate was "too conservative" and the actual figure's now believed to be nearer to 85 percent.
Siloed data
According to Heudecker, problems with the new technology aren't the biggest issue. Companies are having a harder time finding ways to integrate their cloud services into their existing processes. This is resulting in the creation of siloed cloud applications that are of limited business use but considerably drain maintenance resources.
A lack of readily available support is another significant concern. As entire industries are rushing to digitally transform, people skilled in technologies like the cloud, IoT and machine learning can be difficult to come by.
The effects of the skills shortage are particularly apparent at smaller companies who are bringing technology into their processes for the first time. Without guidance in their strategy, they end up lacking clear goals and fail to develop the integrated cloud network they'd conceptualised.
Gradual process
The hardships faced by emerging digital businesses are a concern for the entire data industry. Cloud providers stand to lose out if they don't help customers get the most out of their services. In the race to encourage public cloud adoption, investments in education programs and support materials haven't always been given the attention they need.
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Now big data projects have an 85 percent failure rate, service providers may need to step up to the task of showing customers how to use their platforms. It's increasingly clear that the most successful digital transformations occur in small steps, giving the business time to adjust to new technologies and evaluate each system being introduced. Becoming a digital business should occur as a multi-year evolution, rather than an overnight event.
Studies into big data failures have revealed that many of the challenges occur from human issues rather than technical failures. Despite moving towards a data-first strategy, many company executives still tend towards trusting their instinct instead of what their own data tells them. This suggests that full understanding and acceptance of the data era is still elusive for big businesses, even as they state intentions to become a digital firm.
More about digital transformation, digital disruption, Data, big data, digital strategies
 
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