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Connotate Survey: Enterprise Perceptions on the Value of Big Data

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Enterprises are moving forward with Big Data initiatives, despite the lack of clear definition of Big Data, and lack of proof whether most Big Data projects are delivering ROI.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - November 15, 2012 - ConnotateConnotate, the leading provider of solutions that help organizations automate data collection from the Web, today released results of its second annual "Big Data Attitudes and Perceptions Survey." The study, which provides insights from over 800 executives and thought leaders involved in Big Data projects, was commissioned by Connotate, Inc.

One of the key findings of the study is that enterprises are committed to moving forward with Big Data initiatives to unearth new insights, create revenue opportunities, streamline operations and achieve other business objectives - despite the lack of consensus on a clear definition of "Big Data" and the fact that it is too early to tell if most Big Data projects are delivering the return on investment (ROI) to justify the expense.

... The level of participation in this year's survey confirms that 2012 was a crossover year for Big Data. The survey garnered nearly three times the number of responses as last year. Respondents included C-level executives, content managers, data analysts and technology professionals , representing a cross-section of industries including retail, energy, manufacturing, health care, financial services, information technology and news/media.

Key findings revealed a commitment to Big Data, whose definition seems to be a moving target. When asked to select a definition of Big Data from a list of choices, more than one in five survey respondents indicated they either don't know or haven't decided what "Big Data" really means. Among those that did select a definition of Big Data, the results revealed a shift from last year - more respondents now include Web content as an integral part of the Big Data picture. This implies a blurring, if not a dismantling, of the traditional boundaries around the enterprise information storehouse.

Regarding data collection, there was a decline in the number of organizations (54 percent) identifying themselves as using manual processes as a component of their monitoring and collection process for Web data compared to 2011 (over 60 percent). This may indicate a shift towards adopting technologies for efficient Web data monitoring and collection while using manpower to focus on strategic aspects of projects such as planning and analysis.

Survey results were very clear regarding perceptions of Big Data's ROI to date.

When asked "do you consider your Big Data project a success?" 80 percent of the respondents replied that it was either too early to measure (ROI) or they weren't sure because ROI could not be measured.
Even so, these enterprises are moving ahead with these projects for a variety of objectives including capturing competitive intelligence, price/product intelligence, and brand monitoring insight along with using data to create new products and services to generate revenue.

Overall, the survey results suggest that enterprises today are committed to transforming Big Data - including Web content - into powerful information assets, despite the challenges and lack of ROI proof today. More and more, companies are turning to automation to achieve greater productivity and economies of scale from their Big Data/Web Data initiatives.

Enterprises stand to benefit from learning about early adopter uses cases in Big Data. To that end, in September 2012, Connotate launched the first in a series of webinars highlighting the results customers have achieved so far with Big Data/Web Data initiatives.

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