Modern businesses rely on data. Lots of data. Companies across diverse industries and sectors have rushed to harness the power of Big Data to drive business decisions, gain valuable insights about customers, and deliver hyper-personalized experiences. But recent research from Forrester Consulting indicates that managing all this data is a struggle for many businesses.
- Businesses are using massive amounts of data, they’re projected to use substantially more data in the near future, but their current Big Data solutions can’t even handle the current load.
- Rushed digital transformations meet short-term needs but fall short as long-term solutions.
- Without data-savvy teams, the lack of experience is hindering the ability of many businesses to get the most out of their data.
The rise of Big Data
We live in a world where practically everything connects to the internet: smartphones, cars, TVs, video games, kitchen appliances, doorbells, etc. Humans generate massive amounts of data. Statistics show that, in 2020, each human created 1.7 MB of data every second, resulting in a daily average of 2.5 quintillion bytes. It’s projected that 2025 will see a staggering 463 exabytes of data generated every day. And the connected world continues to grow.
According to market and consumer data company Statista, there were 2.6 billion internet users in 2013. That number skyrocketed to 4.66 billion people in January 2021, approximately 60% of the world’s population. Internet growth statistics indicate that internet users grows by 875,000 every day. With trending shifts in how we interact with technology (e.g., metaverse, web3, 5G), and as more IoT devices integrate into network infrastructures, it adds more fuel to this fire of data growth. There were a reported 10 billion active IoT devices in 2021, but that number is expected to surpass 25.4 billion in 2030. And the data generated by these devices is projected to soar to 73.1 zettabytes by 2025.
For businesses big and small, this abundance of data is a hot commodity. But the road to success with Big Data isn’t paved in gold. Although companies across all business sectors see the value and necessity of Big Data solutions, recent research indicates that many companies are overwhelmed by the challenges presented by Big Data.
Big Data challenges
Dell Technologies commissioned a Data Challenges study by Forrester Consulting that found many businesses are struggling with their data. In polling directors or other decision-makers at 4,036 companies, the study reveals that 66% of these companies experienced an increase in generated data over the past three years, and 56% noted an increase in collected data. Additionally, 75% reported an increase in demand for data. But this mass influx leaves many companies sitting on mountains of data they can’t efficiently process or utilize in a timely manner.
In this data gold rush, businesses have accelerated digital transformation plans. But 70% of the polled companies admit that the rate at which they are currently collecting data is faster than their capability to analyze and use it. But 67% assert they need more data than their current solutions can handle, revealing the data paradox struggle many companies face.
This substantial volume of data companies have sitting around is also creating security issues. The COVID-19 pandemic fueled a digital transformation rush for many businesses. But with inadequate systems in place, knowledge gaps, and lots of extra data lying around, data teams are reportedly overwhelmed by security and compliance risks. The study found that 64% of the polled companies struggle to meet security and compliance requirements because they have too much data.
The shared data challenges many are currently facing aren’t surprising because of the expeditious fashion in which many businesses execute their digital transformations. These companies aren’t taking advantage of automation, their systems aren’t scalable, and they lack data-savvy teams. To this latter point, the recent study labeled more than half of the included companies as “data novices” due to inexperience. The lack of experienced talent to fill essential data-related roles compounds these struggles. Recent research from the UK government determined that there are “between 178,000-234,000 data-related roles in UK companies to be filled.” But the number of graduates likely to fill data roles is limited, raising concerns about the ability to meet this demand in general, but specifically in the short term.
The lack of experience that created the current overwhelming situation for many businesses continues to create more challenges, like dealing with inadequate data architectures, poor performance, and fragile applications, rather than helping solve them. For example, the study found that 69% of the companies polled intend to build more data lakes to deal with increasing data volumes. Yet nearly half of the companies pointed to a lack of consolidation resulting from too many discrete data lakes as a barrier to better data usage. All these discrete data lakes are creating data silos.
As the Forrester study points out, companies are jumping on short-term solutions rather than implementing a future-proof data strategy.
Xebia Big Data solutions
The Forrester study sheds light on the knowledge gaps, inexperienced teams, and inefficient data strategies that are creating headaches for teams as they struggle to manage all their data and get the most use out of it. When it comes to Big Data solutions, experience matters. At Xebia, our seasoned experts help to enhance large-scale data processing to help your team increase productivity and speed, so you can focus on deriving real value from your data. Whether you’re looking for Big Data solutions, a full digital transformation strategy, or team augmentation to upskill your in-house team, Xebia offers a full spectrum of consulting services for both long-term and short-term engagements. We’d love to hear from you to learn more about your needs. When you’re ready, reach out to let us know how we can help.