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Big data initiatives benefit midsize organisations too: Dell survey

Zafirah Salim | April 29, 2014
Dell survey shows that midmarket companies see early success as they proactively take on big data to make better data-driven decisions.

A recent Dell Software survey revealed that big data initiatives are helping midsize organisations achieve improved product quality and decision-making once reserved for large enterprises.

Commissioned by Competitive Edge Research, the survey polled 300 IT decision makers in midmarket organisations worldwide. According to the computer tech giant’s media statement, the survey aimed to find out what drives midmarket adoption of big data projects.

Generally, the survey results painted a positive picture of big data initiatives in the midmarket. It is interesting to note that a significant number of respondents (41 per cent) already have one or more big data projects in place, with another 55 percent planning to start one in the near future. Further results also show that more midmarket firms plan to use big data analysis to grow their businesses, rather than just using it as a platform to help find ways to cut costs.

Although many midmarket companies are just getting started with big data projects, the early results show that those projects have had an immediate and positive impact on their organisation’s productivity and success.

In fact, the survey showed that organisations with big data projects in flight report far greater levels of satisfaction with productivity and decision-making than those still in the planning phase. This sense of satisfaction correlates to the quality and speed of their decision-making, their ability to improve product quality, as well as their ability to identify and take advantage of new business opportunities.

Midmarket shows success, but there’s still room to grow

While the early results have been positive for most organisations, there is still room for growth.  Managing data complexity remains the most significant obstacle that midmarket companies face as they seek to fully embrace the potential benefits of a data-driven approach.

Additionally, most midmarket organisations still have not yet incorporated social media and other big data sources into their analytics mix, meaning a potentially significant source of analytic insight remains largely untapped.

While the cost and complexity of the required technology have kept some areas of opportunity as yet unexplored, technology keeps improving and budgets for big data-related projects are on the rise. In fact, 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’s survey shows once again why ‘big’ data is relative term. Being an enterprise organisation with large, complex data sets is not a prerequisite to benefiting from a data-driven mindset,” said Darin Bartik, executive director, product and information management of Dell Software.

“When organisations of any size focus on improving the quality of their business processes by becoming more analytical and data-driven, the potential benefits are limitless. 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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