Where are we in the big data lifecycle?

Gartner's Hype CyclePricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and Iron Mountain just released a report titled “How organizations can unlock value and insight from the information they hold“. Along with the report, they’ve released an infographic that I thought worth sharing but before the infographic, let me share a few of the highlights and offer some opinion on the results.

A few highlights from the report:

  • 4% of respondents are able to extract full value from the data they have
  • 36% of respondents lack the tools and/or skills necessary to extract value from their data
  • 66% of respondents obtain little to no benefit from their data
  • 25% of respondents do not see any value in the data they have and don’t believe it would add value in any form of decision-making processes.

I was pointed to the PWC / Iron Mountain report via a CIO article titled “Study reveals that most companies are failing at big data“. In that article, the author uses the data from this report to claim that companies are failing at big data. I don’t think that’s what the data is saying at all…I think the survey responses show that companies are trying to figure out how to ‘do’ big data but very few have really got it under control.  That lines up well with my experience working with clients as does the survey results in the report.

This survey (and others) tells me that we are still very early in the lifecycle (or hype cycle) of big data.  Lots of people are talking about it and lost of people/companies have extreme expectations about what they can do with big data, but few have really figured out how to make big data work for them. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle, I think we are still in the up-cycle between ‘technology trigger’ and ‘peak of inflated expectations’ for most organizations.

Are companies failing at big data? Sure…but I think that’s just because most companies are still very early in the learning cycle for big data. Give it some time and we’ll see these survey results change.

PwC and Iron Mountain’s Infographic:

Information Value Index_L

PWC & Iron Mountain Infographic