SOURCE: Avanade


June 05, 2012 08:58 ET

Big Data Is Producing Big Returns According to Global Avanade Survey; 88 Per Cent of Canadian Respondents Are Now Starting to Use Big Data to Make Better Business Decisions

Growing Skills Shortage and a Trio of Trends -- Employee Mobility, Cloud Computing, Social Networking -- Creates Big Data Management and Analysis Challenges

TORONTO--(Marketwire - Jun 5, 2012) - Avanade, a business technology solutions and managed services provider, today announced the results of a global survey of more than 550 business executives and IT leaders, which reveals the investments companies are making to manage big data are paying off. In Canada, 88 per cent of respondents (84 per cent globally) report big data helps them make better business decisions. And, nearly 70 per cent of Canadian companies (73 per cent globally) have already used data to increase revenue by growing existing revenue streams or creating entirely new sources of revenue.

"Companies are seeing actual potential in big data and realizing the business value derived from unlocking the insights it has to offer," said Benoit Bertrand, CTO and vice president at Avanade Canada. "This is in sharp contrast to our 2010 study that showed nearly half of all respondents reported they had made an inaccurate business decision as a result of bad or outdated data. In just two years, with greater access to data than ever before, we are reaching a tipping point with companies that leverage big data finding both financial gains and a competitive advantage."

Beyond tangible business value, evidence shows big data has become pervasive -- more types of employees have more access to more technology options to manage and analyze data. Sixty-three per cent of Canadian companies surveyed (57 per cent globally) said in just the last 12 months, more technology options became available to analyze and manage data. Further, the survey found companies are investing in that technology. Almost every company surveyed (89 per cent in Canada and 91 per cent globally) are using tools to manage and analyze data today.

Big Data Moves Beyond the Walls of IT

Today, the majority of businesses do not consider data analysts a part of their IT staff. Instead, companies are now distributing that expertise to line-of-business groups throughout the company. As evidence to this, 69 per cent of Canadian respondents (58 globally) report data management is now embedded throughout their business.

Further, over half of companies surveyed (63 per cent in Canada and 59 per cent globally) say more employees than ever before are involved in making decisions as a result of more widely available company data.

Challenges Remain

Despite these developments, 77 per cent of Canadian respondents (85 per cent globally) still report obstacles in managing and analyzing data and 69 per cent (63 per cent globally) feel their company needs to develop new skills to turn data into business insights.

Further, the shifts in how employees work -- from the consumerization of IT and the growing use of consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets in the workplace, to the flood of data created and shared on social networks -- is only making the rapid growth of data more challenging to manage. The majority of respondents reported that employee mobility (60 per cent Canada / 73 per cent globally), cloud computing (51 per cent Canada / 65 per cent globally) and social networking (61 per cent in Canada and globally) are all causing their company to rethink its data management strategy.

"The challenges of big data remain, but the opportunities are even greater. Business leaders are really moving from defense to offense in their data management strategies," said Tyson Hartman, global CTO and vice president at Avanade. Forward-looking companies are empowering more people across the enterprise with the tools and skills needed to make better business decisions and ultimately, harness the power that big data promises."

The "Is Big Data Producing Big Returns?" survey was conducted by Wakefield Research, an independent research firm, in April 2012, and surveyed 569 C-level executives, IT decision makers and business unit leaders at top companies located in 18 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South Africa.

For additional information or to download a copy of the executive summary, please visit

About Avanade
Avanade provides business technology solutions and managed services that connect insight, innovation and expertise in Microsoft® technologies to help customers realize results. Our people have helped thousands of organizations in all industries improve business agility, employee productivity, and customer loyalty. Avanade combines the collective business, technical and industry expertise of its worldwide network of experts with the rigor of an industrialized delivery model to provide high quality solutions using proven and emerging technologies with flexible deployment models-on premises, cloud-based or outsourced. Avanade, which is majority owned by Accenture, was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation and has 15,000 professionals in more than 20 countries. Additional information can be found at

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