Business leaders today are facing many unforeseen challenges. They need technology more than ever to stay ahead of hackers and on top of market trends, but there aren't a ton of qualified candidates to help them accomplish this.
As a result, many organizations are turning to innovations such as big data and analytics.
"The management and leveraging of information for competitive advantage is driving growth in markets associated with big data and analytics," said Henry Morris, senior vice president for worldwide software, services and executive advisory research at IDC. Similarly, rapid growth in cloud deployments is fueling growth in application areas associated with social business and customer experience. … The combination of these forces is advancing the growth to what IDC has termed the third platform."
A recent study from IDC found that in 2012, the global enterprise software market increased 3.6 percent year-over-year. Along with cloud computing, big data and analytics were found to be the biggest driving forces behind this growth.
By comparison to the overall market, spending in the application development and deployment sector – which includes big data and analytics – achieved a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase. It now accounts for nearly a quarter of enterprise software expenditures.
Time to adopt is now
There have been a lot of theories behind big data's rapid growth: the rise of cloud computing, social media, mobile devices or a combination of all three. Regardless of the reason, organizations have reached a point where they need to adopt the technology, or they'll risk falling behind the competition.
- Innovation: With competition as stiff as ever, organizations are being forced to evolve rapidly. Data analytics enable them to identify these innovative techniques.
- Cost savings: Clayton mentioned how many manufacturing companies are using analytics to find the most cost-effective operations.
- Forecasting: These tools "allow managers to discover patterns, drill into detailed data, perform analysis and visualize relationships." Previously, these capabilities were only available to organizations that had a top-notch data scientist on staff.
These are just a few of the potential benefits of big data analytics. The technology has also been found to be helpful for fraud prevention, developing customer profiles, projecting the return on investment for future projects and advertising campaigns, and so on and so forth.
Big data and analytics have the ability to make a positive impact for professionals across every reason. For that reason, Clayton was probably right when he said "business leaders must master" data analytics.