IT leaders already making strides thanks to big data, survey says

Overall, 84 percent of the companies surveyed acknowledged that big data is at least helping them make better business decisions.

Big data has become an increasingly pressing issue for the IT community over the last year, with many people debating the actual value of it all. Sure, big data offers a lot of potential, but if you don't have plans for how to make use of that data, then it's not much help to anyone.

Nevertheless, a new study from business technology and managed services provider Avanade found that IT leaders and business executives are starting to draw real revenue numbers from big data.

In April, Avande researchers surveyed more than 550 business executives and IT leaders at companies in 18 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and South Africa.

Out of that pool, at least 73 percent of these companies replied that they have already used big data analytics to help increase revenue by growing existing revenue streams. Furthermore, 43 percent of them are using big data to develop entirely new sources of revenue.

Overall, 84 percent of these companies said that big data is at least helping them make better business decisions.

While this looks all fine and dandy, naturally there are still some roadblocks. The biggest one looks to be another major hot topic in the IT world: the consumerization of IT and bringing personal devices to work.

The problem here is, according to Avanade researchers, that the rapidly growing amount of data is difficult for most IT departments to manage. That also entangles a whole web of other issues, including cloud computing and social network, which require close attention from IT managers worried about sensitive data that has a greater potential to leak now than ever before.

Despite the risks, the Avanade report posits that big data is at a tipping point as it is growing to involve more employees throughout companies and not just IT departments, adding that "big data is quickly becoming everyone’s business."