STAMFORD, Conn., September 16, 2015 View All Press Releases

Gartner Survey Shows More Than 75 Percent of Companies Are Investing or Planning to Invest in Big Data in the Next Two Years

Skills, Governance, Funding and ROI Challenges Set to Increase

Investment in big data continues to increase in 2015, but not as rapidly as in previous years. More than three-quarters of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data in the next two years, a three percent increase over 2014, according to a recent survey of IT and business leaders by Gartner, Inc. The survey, which was conducted among 437 Gartner Research Circle Members in June 2015, included global organizations across all industries, both Gartner clients and nonclients.

"This year begins the shift of big data away from a topic unto itself, and toward standard practices," said Nick Heudecker, research director at Gartner. "The topics that formerly defined big data, such as massive data volumes, disparate data sources and new technologies are becoming familiar as big data solutions become mainstream. For example, among companies that have invested in big data technology, 70 percent are analyzing or planning to analyze location data, and 64 percent are analyzing or planning to analyze free-form text."

Organizations typically have multiple goals for big data initiatives, such as enhancing the customer experience, streamlining existing processes, achieving more targeted marketing and reducing costs. As in previous years, organizations are overwhelmingly targeting enhanced customer experience as the primary goal of big data projects (64 percent). Process efficiency and more-targeted marketing are now tied at 47 percent. As data breaches continue to make headlines, enhanced security capabilities saw the largest increase, from 15 percent to 23 percent.

"As big data becomes the new normal, information and analytics leaders are shifting focus from hype to finding value," said Lisa Kart, research director at Gartner. "While the perennial challenge of understanding value remains, the practical challenges of skills, governance, funding and return on investment (ROI) come to the fore."

When asked about ROI for big data efforts, the majority of those companies with plans to invest in big data and those that have invested, expect a positive ROI. However, a large proportion of companies (43 percent of those planning to invest and 38 percent of those that have already invested) don't know if their ROI will be positive or negative. This uncertainty highlights the challenges in determining the value of big data projects.

One of the more significant changes in this year's survey findings is the role within the organization that initiates big data projects. Last year, 37 percent of big data projects were initiated by the CIO, while 25 percent were initiated by business unit heads. In 2015, the roles are nearly tied, at 32 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

"Business leaders are taking a more active role in information and analytics projects as awareness of the value of data-driven decision making grows," said Mr. Heudecker.

More detailed analysis is available in the report "Survey Analysis: Practical Challenges Mount as Big Data Moves to Mainstream."

Big data trends will be discussed at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, October 4-8 in Orlando, Florida. Members of the media can register for the event by contacting Christy Pettey at christy.pettey@gartner.com.

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and other senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on these events to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to overcome business challenges and improve operational efficiency.

Additional information from the event will be shared on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc and using #GartnerSYM. 

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 include:

September 28-30, Cape Town, South Africa

October 4-8, Orlando, Florida

October 19-22, Sao Paulo, Brazil

October 26-29, Gold Coast, Australia

October 28-30, Tokyo, Japan

November 2-5, Goa, India

November 8-12, Barcelona, Spain

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,300 associates, including more than 1,800 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.