Xerox study finds big data on the rise

By Bill Fallon

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A new study by Norwalk-based Xerox Corp. found benefits to the use of big data and minted fresh terms for those still on the outside looking in, “data laggards,” and for those in the vanguard, “datarati.”

The study by Massachusetts-based Forrester Consulting focused on companies in five Western European nations, grouping them as “datarati, ” those who show a strong competence with big data; “data explorers,” those with some competence; and the “data laggards,” those lagging in both approach and confidence to big data’s possibilities.

The study listed benefits that included better decision-making and improved business planning, and improved data quality and consistency.

In its biggest manifestation, 38 percent of respondents currently use big data to enhance performance and security. Beneath representations of latched and unlatched padlocks, the study said, security was “the top challenge in the survey.”

Inventory management at 35 percent was next, followed by wrangling the data of customer satisfaction and loyalty at 31 percent. Other double-digit responses included scientific research, logistics, trading and risk analyses; and document analytics.

One respondent in five – 20 percent – currently use big data as a predictor of the next business move, with an additional 31 percent headed into that arena in the next year.

For those that make the leap, big data packs a wallop. Seventy-four percent of the study’s 330 respondents expect to see a positive return on their big data investments within 12 months.

Businesses in the study included technology and communications, retail, financial and industrial concerns. The countries involved were the U.K., Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The full report is titled “Big Data in Western Europe Today.”

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About the author

Bill Fallon
Bill Fallon is editor of the Fairfield County Business Journal. He has worked at Westfair Communications for more than five years, previously editing an upstate New York daily and a national motorcycle magazine in Nevada. He attended Iona Prep in New Rochelle, N.Y., and the University of Virginia.

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