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New research shows IT thinking must change when it comes to big data

Hitachi Data Systems has just revealed the results of its "Information Innovation Index," which is a study that aimed to measure how businesses are able to tap into and make good use of big data. And the short answer is that many feel they're not making best use of the swathes of data they're sat on.

The study was conducted by Vanson Bourne across 200 Chief Information Officers and IT decision makers in the UK, and almost half (46 per cent) of respondents felt that their current IT setup was hindering their ability to effectively crunch big data for valuable insights.

90 per cent agreed that the traditional approach to storing and managing data is a hindrance in terms of gaining insights when sifting big data, at least to some extent.

Furthermore, almost two-thirds of respondents (63 per cent) who felt that their current IT processes were unable to effectively support their firm's growth ambitions said the main reason for this was due to data being stored over disparate systems and formats, which made it a harder task to extract value from said information. As a result, the survey found that 73 per cent of UK business are failing to actively mine useful data resources they're sat on – and 60 per cent don't have any inclination to even try to do so.

The research also highlighted a lack of understanding when it comes to big data. Of the aforementioned two-thirds of respondents who felt IT could not support growth ambitions, a quarter cited one reason for this as being the fact that CIOs simply don't understand how to extract value from their data. Also, two-thirds weren't confident that managers have the requisite know-how to act on any insights which are eked out.

Almost everyone questioned – an overwhelming 96 per cent – said that they believed their company was "drowning" in data.

So, what's Hitachi's message from all this? That big data is a big opportunity, and to fully realise the benefits, current IT thinking needs to change – businesses should refocus their approach to IT with big data in mind, rather than just carrying on regardless.

Richard Gadd, regional VP and general manager of Hitachi Data Systems (UK & Ireland), said: "Information can be a transformative force in business if decision-makers are able to shape what it does. By realigning the relationship between business management and IT, and tapping into the vast troves of company intelligence, organisations can quickly accelerate beyond their nearest competitors."

He added: "Organisations that view IT holistically can enable greater productivity, drive new revenue opportunities, and unleash growth potential."

To that end, have a read of our article on how to gain more powerful insights from big data analysis.