Big data projects a focus for Australian mid-market: IDC

Eighty-four per cent of mid-market businesses surveyed had either deployed big data or were exploring it in the next 12 months

Big data is not only widely used by large enterprises in Australia as the mid-market is also taking advantage of it to make decisions faster, according to new research from IDC Australia.

Speaking at a briefing in Sydney, IDC Australia software group senior market analyst Shayum Rahim told delegates that the research firm interviewed 300 Australian CIOs and IT decision makers about big data deployments from a range of verticals including financial services and manufacturing.

Seventy-seven per cent of the businesses were from the mid-market space while the remaining 23 per cent were large enterprises. For the survey, IDC defined the mid-market as companies with 100 to 500 employees.

“Eighty-four per cent of the Australian mid-market businesses surveyed told us that they had either deployed big data or were in the process of going through a [big data] project in the next 12 months,” he said.

“Almost half of the mid-market are allocating a third of their budgets to big data. One in five told me that they were allocating more than that.”

He added that some mid-market companies indicated they were prepared to go to a service provider to deliver big data services.

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The survey then asked respondents what they were using this information for with the top answer being faster decision making.

“The quicker I can make a decision, the faster I can get out to market with my product and services,” Rahim said.

“For example, at Coles when you swipe your FlyBuys card the supermarket knows exactly what you put in your shopping basket and your shopping patterns. What they can start doing is entice you to shop with bonus FlyBuys points.”

“Coles may have been collecting that data from different sources and storing it in a data warehouse. They then extract that data, have people analyse it and gleam insights to give to the marketing department,” he said.

Turning to data growth rates, almost 50 per cent of the 300 companies surveyed said their data was growing at an average of 50 terabytes per annum.

“When you overlay that with those organisations who say they have between 26 to 50 terabytes of data, these organisations will hit or even exceed 100 terabytes of data in two years,” Rahim said.

Adding to data volumes was the variety of information collected such as social networking likes and tweets, email and voicemail.

According to the respondents, most companies were collecting commercial, transactional, image data and log files.

“Organisations are interested in what is happening in their company as far as digital and electronic information goes. It may be for risk mitigation or to streamline their operations,” Rahim said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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