According to IDG Research, 80% of business leaders say that Big Data should enable more-informed business decisions, and 37% say that the insights provided by Big Data should prove critical to those decisions.

A February 2013 survey on Big Data, was designed and executed jointly by IDG Research and Kapow Software, which sells an integration platform for Big Data. As with all vendor surveys, bear in mind that Kapow wants to make Big Data sound exciting, and to align the questions with its own products and services.

That said, the results of the survey of 200 business leaders are interesting:
• 71% said that Big Data should help increase their competitive advantage by keeping them ahead of market trends
• 68% said that Big Data should improve customer satisfaction
• 62% believe Big Data should increase end-user productivity by providing real-time access to business information
• 60% said Big Data should improve information security and/or compliance
• 55% said Big Data should help create compelling new products and services
• 33% said Big Data should help them monitor and respond to social media in real time

Those are big expectations for Big Data! The results to date… not so much. The study revealed that only one-third of organizations surveyed have implemented any sort of Big Data initiative, but another third expect to do so over the next year.

What are the barriers to Big Data success? The study’s answers:
• 53% say a lack of awareness of Big Data’s potential
• 49% say concerns about the time-to-value of the data
• 45% say not having the right employee skills and training
• 43% say not having the ability to extract data from the correct sources

Tell me about your expectations for Big Data initiatives in your organization: What business problems do you think it will solve, and what opportunities do you think it will enable? Write me at

Alan Zeichick is editorial director of SD Times. Read his blog at