NewVantage Releases 4th Annual Big Data Executive Survey 2016 Survey – Big Data has Achieved Mainstream Adoption

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BigData_logoNewVantage Partners, a management consulting firm whose exclusive focus is the delivery of world-class expertise in Data Strategy and Big Data Execution for Fortune 1000 clients, has released the results of its 4th annual Big Data Executive Survey, entitled “An Update on the Adoption of Big Data in the Fortune 1000”.

The 2016 Big Data Executive Survey provides an executive perspective on the factors that are driving adoption of Big Data within Fortune 1000 firms.  Survey respondents comprised Fortune 1000 senior business and technology executives representing Fortune 1000 and leading firms, including American Express, Charles Schwab, CVS, Fidelity Investments, Glaxo Smith Klein, JP Morgan, MetLife, TJX, and Wells Fargo, among a roster of blue-chip participants.

Executive participation was consistent with prior year’s surveys, with C-executives accounting for 35.9% of the survey respondents, while leaders of Big Data functions accounted for an additional 28.6% of respondents.  The survey provides further evidence that Big Data has achieved adoption within the Fortune 1000 mainstream.

The percentage of firms reporting that they have a Big Data initiative in production rose sharply from 48.2% in 2014 to 62.5% in 2015.  The percentage of firms reporting an expected investment in Big Data of greater than $50MM is expected to grow nearly fivefold from 5.4% to 26.8%.

Big Data has reached a point of mainstream adoption within Fortune 1000 firms,” said Randy Bean, CEO and managing partner of NewVantage Partners, who also writes a column on Big Data for The Wall Street Journal. “This survey has over the past 4 years reflected the evolution of executive perspectives as firms have come to terms with the opportunity represented by Big Data.”

Key findings of the 2016 New Vantage Partners Big Data Executive Survey include:

  1. Big Data has achieved mainstream adoption.  62.5% of firms report that they now have at least one instance of Big Data in production.  This is nearly double the 31.4% who reported the same result in 2013.  26.8% of firms report that they will invest greater than $50MM in Big Data by 2017, up from just 5.4% of firms that invested greater than $50MM in 2014.  69.6% of firms now view Big Data as very important or critical to their business success.
  2. The Chief Data Officer role is now well established.  Firms are becoming firmly committed to the role of the Chief Data Officer.  In 2012, only 12% of firms reported naming a CDO.  In the 2016 survey, this number jumps to 54%.  20% of firms now report that the Chief Data Officer is the executive with primary ownership responsibility for Big Data initiatives.  14.3% report that the CDO is the primary executive sponsor for Big Data.
  3. Business and Technology partnership is seen as critical to Big Data adoption. 33.9% of firms identified business and technology cooperation as the most critical factor in business adoption, leading all other factors by a wide margin.  Strong business sponsorship was cited as the most critical factor by 23.2% of firms.  By contrast, technology leadership (5.4%) and technology selection (0.0%) drew negligible responses.
  4. Business insight and speed are the main drivers of Big Data investment. Firms cite the ability to develop greater insights into their business and customers (37.0%) as the single biggest driver of Big Data investment.   This is closely followed by advantages gained from speed – faster time-to-answer, faster time-to-decision, and faster speed-to-market (29.7%).  Firms also cited a need for greater analytics capabilities (9.3%) and the opportunity to create a data-driven culture (9.3%).
  5. Variety continues to trump volume and velocity as Big Data drivers.  Firms continue to report that variety is the primary technical driver behind Big Data investments (40.0%), with volume (14.5%) and velocity (3.6%) lagging well behind.  Firms are seeking to integrate more sources of data, including new sources as well as legacy sources, as they tap the “long tail” of Big Data.

The level of mainstream adoption has risen sharply within just a few years. Only 5.4% of firms now report that they have no Big Data initiatives planned or underway.

The 2016 survey published here represents the 4th and final edition of this survey, for it is clear that Big Data is now mainstream, and even the most cautious firms have adopted a Big Data strategy of some form,” concludes Bean.


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  1. Bill Freeman says

    New Vantage really knows their stuff. Great information. Thank you
    regards, Bill 1-774-301-1301