Getting a 360-Degree View on Big Data
Trying to understand what a large company is doing with Big Data depends upon whom you ask in that firm. Corporate IT management is likely to have a broader but more superficial view of what the company is doing with the technology. Managers of marketing, sales, service, and other business functions are likely to have greater knowledge of how Big Data is used in their areas. And managers running analytics groups (apparently a growing breed) have perhaps the best view of how an organization is using Big Data.
To get a better picture of how companies are using Big Data, we designed the study to collect data from IT, business functions, and analytics managers. Nearly one third were IT managers; 62% were from eight business functions (marketing, sales, service, production/manufacturing, logistics, research & development, finance, and human resources). And the remainder (7%) operated in analytics groups. (See Exhibit VIII-1.) In all, 88% either headed one of those functions or reported to the head of it.
We also wanted people in these functions who had intimate knowledge of their company’s Big Data activities. The majority (58%) said they played supporting roles in this endeavor, and 23% played leading roles. The rest (19%) said they had no role but substantial knowledge about what their company was doing with Big Data.
Exhibit VIII-1: Big Data Survey Respondents by Functional Role
Q3 : Respondents by Function?
We also wanted to limit ourselves to large companies. The clear majority of companies – 83% — had revenue of more than $1 billion. In fact, the median revenue was $6.9 billion (while the average revenue was much higher, at $19 billion). Of the 643 companies that reported at least one Big Data initiative, the percent by regions can be seen in Exhibit VIII-2. Nearly half were from North America (that is, the U.S.). One quarter were from Europe, 16% were from Asia-Pacific and 11% were from Latin America.
Exhibit VIII-2: Big Data Survey Respondents by Region of World
Q5-a : Where Companies are Headquartered (Region of World)
The breakout by the nine countries we surveyed can be seen below.
Exhibit VIII-3: Big Data Survey Respondents by Country
Q5-b : Where Companies are Headquartered (Country)
The survey population was tilted toward large companies. The majority had revenue of at least $1 billion in all four regions (see Exhibit VIII-4).
Exhibit VIII-4: Big Data Survey Respondents by Revenue
Q2: 2012 Revenue of Respondents by Region
Most executives surveyed either ran a business function (marketing, sales, service, manufacturing/production, R&D, logistics, finance or HR), the IT function, or an analytics function – or reported to the person who ran one of those functions. (See Exhibit VIII-5).
Exhibit VIII-5: Big Data Survey Respondents by Organizational Level
Q4: Respondents by Organizational Level (Region)
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