• Big Data
  • Experfy Editor
  • APR 15, 2014

Big Data: Big Illusion?

Big data has evolved in different ways in the last several years, and now it encompasses all those activities that help enterprises or organizations gather and mine vast amounts of data to discover rare insights and business intelligence that could possibly maximize efficiency, maximize profits, optimize processes, and reduce operational costs.

Interestingly enough, Gartner has included big data and its associated claims in its Hype Cycle category since last year!

Even more interesting is that in a recent report, Gartner published that nearly 38% of US businesses have adopted big data technology; nearly 27% of the EU, EMEA have adopted big data; APAC is trailing at 25.6%; while Latin America has the lowest adoption rate barely 18%. If these numbers are warranted, then big data is catching on as an epidemic all across the globe. In fact, the Gartner report further states that APAC reflects a strong possibility of matching the US adoption rate in two years.

Refer to the following graphic provided by Gartner to compare the big data investment in businesses by region:



The global figures for 2015 stand at 64%—within which time, big data will be embraced worldwide. The major brands worth mentioning include Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Yahoo. The early adopters have confronted and refined the learning curve; the recent adopters have simply jumped on the bandwagon by following suit.

But are businesses just chasing an illusion called big data?

As APAC gears up to expedite its big data adoption rate over the next two years, it is probably worthwhile to analyze what this misunderstood technology has already achieved, and what it plans to achieve in the near future. After reading this post, readers, can make up their minds whether they still want to label big data as a hype cycle item.


Things that have happened in the big data world

  1. McKinsey Global Institute(MGI), in its published report titled  Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity, reports that EU public sector could enjoy savings up to 20 percent, that are now wasted on administrative expenses.  These savings can amount to €300 million.
  2. The businesses who have moved up to advanced big data analytics are now reaping the rewards of peer-to-peer comparative analysis between their own data and their competitor’s data; which helps them shape future strategies or policies.
  3. Many major players actually position their big data capabilities as a competitive advantage.  These businesses have not only utilized big data as an analytics platform, but have also used it as a marketing tool.
  4. Knowledge transfer from early adopters to late adopters has taken place successfully. Prominent brands like Yahoo, Google, Facebook, or Amazon have shared their trials and tribulations through the big data process within the industry circles. Two brilliant instances of their knowledge invention and sharing are Hadoop and MapReduce. The current crop of big data followers are immensely benefited from that knowledge.
  5. VC Funding of big data startups—that began in 2008 and continued through 2012, then picked up and peaked in 2013, has witnessed partnerships between major venture capital firms and prominent businesses prosper.
  6. Emergence of complimentary platforms like Hadoop and Cloud have taken big data analytics to new heights. Hadoop promises to slice down complex big data problems into bite size chunks for speedy processing, while Cloud enables cash-strapped businesses to enjoy advanced analytics capabilities without any investment.


Things that are about to happen in the big data world

In the near future, the following trends are assumed to be surfacing in the big data world:

  1. A multi-agency working group for big data implementation was appointed in February this year. The action items in their agenda include exploring big data technologies, identifying barriers to big data analytics, enhancing data science and data analytics skills through education, developing a best practice guide for big data, and producing an information asset register.
  2. According to Gartner, 2013 was the year of experimentation in the big data industry. But, 2014 will bring about maturity in big data technology, mainly in Australia. The rest of the world will follow shortly afterwards.
  3. Going by industry trends, use cases related to customer behavior or shopping experience  will be a top priority in 2014, especially in the financial services and the retail sectors.
The Harvard Innovation Lab

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