Report Roundup: Where Big Data Was And Where It's Going

By | April 10, 2013

Posted in: Network Security Trends

Big Data is being put to big use, as a little more than half of companies globally have adopted some sort of Big Data initiative in the past year, according to a new global trends report.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) just wrapped up a massive global big data study, surveying 1,217 companies in nine countries spanning four regions of the world about their big data plans. Of the half that have pushed forward on a big data agenda, 43 percent predicted a return on investment (ROI) of more than 25 percent.

But when you examine the spending figures attached to these initiatives, the picture comes into clearer focus. In 2012, 15 percent of the companies invested at least $100 million apiece on Big Data programs. About half of them (7 percent) invested at least $500 million each. However, on the other end of the spectrum were the 24 percent of companies that spent relatively little on Big Data – less than $2.5 million each, demonstrating that a distinct minority of companies – less than one in seven – have initiatives around Big Data and are investing heavily in it, according to the survey.

Some other key findings:

  • Median per-company spending on Big Data in 2012 was $10 million

  • 80 percent of the companies say they’ve improved business decisions as a result

  • Most of their data is structured (versus non-structured) and from internal sources (versus external)

  • Only 27 percent of the companies sell their digital data, but those that did generated an average of $22 million from it in 2012

  • About 24 percent of the companies either expected a negative return or haven’t tried to quantify one for 2012

  • Companies that projected an ROI averaged a 46 percent ROI, which includes those projecting a negative return

  • The most difficult challenge in generating benefits from Big Data is organizational: getting organizational silos to share their data

These results dovetail nicely with another Big Data report, which examined the ideology behind integrating Big Data projects into the enterprise.

The Cisco® Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR) surveyed IT professionals across 18 countries to examine the IT readiness, challenges, technology gaps, and strategic value of implementing Big Data projects.

It found that over two-thirds of IT managers agree that Big Data will be a strategic priority for their companies in 2013 and over the next five years, with more than 60 percent of survey respondents believing that Big Data will help businesses and countries to improve decision making and global competitiveness.

However, several obstacles exist according to the study, topping the list was security, followed by budget and staffing. Despite these concerns, IT pros see their budgets rising to accomodate new Big Data Initiatives, with over half the respondents expecting these strategies to increase their IT budgets in 2013 AND nearly three out of five (57 percent) saying the increase will expand over the mid term,  increasing their budgets over the next three years.

And where is all of this data coming from? Cisco respondents cited these sources:

  • 74 percent are gathering current data.

  • 55 percent have collected historical data.

  • 48 percent bring in data from monitors and sensors.

  • 40 percent take advantage of real-time data that is used and then discarded.  Countries with a much higher usage of real-time data were: India (62 percent), the U.S. (60 percent) and Argentina (58 percent).

  • 32 percent are collecting unstructured data, such as video. At 56 percent China is well above the global average for gathering unstructured data.

Giuliano Di Vitantonio, Vice President, Data Center and Cloud Marketing at Cisco said in a blog post that with only 41 percent of respondents ready for the surge in network traffic that is generated by Big Data, bigger pipes alone are not sufficient to handle the data deluge.

"An intelligent information infrastructure provides a better way to collect, manage, and extract value from data. It is not about transporting the data as quickly as possible from the point of creation to a point of analysis but rather deciding on the spot, in real time, what to do with the data," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Verisign's Q4 Domain Name Industry Brief released this week gives a high-level overview of data generated within the DNS, and how companies might use this Big Data stream to inform business strategy and possibly improve network security.

More than six million domain names were added to the Internet in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of registered domain names to more than 252 million worldwide across all top-level domains (TLDs) as of Dec. 31, 2012, according to the report.

For Big Data purveyors, this amount of added info fire power pouring in through DNS data can become an important tool in securing the network. Being able to analyze network activity and traffic through DNS queries can help network administrators determine where malicious traffic comes from and prevent access to these sources where Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and spam originate, according to Verisign.

With three reports in a little over a week, the Big Data prognostications, analysis and reports only add to the amount of information security pros must digest.

  • A full copy of the TCS report can be downloaded HERE.

  • The Cisco survey

  • Verisign's report can be downloaded HERE. [PDF]

 

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