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Big Data Causing Big Disconnect In IT Department

Big Data Causing Big Disconnect In IT Department
Those at the top of the IT ladder feel more confident about their handle on Big Data than those in the trenches. / Credit: Big data image via Shutterstock

IT executives appear to be overestimating the progress that's been made on their big-data projects, a new study finds.

Research from IT staffing firm TEKsystems discovered a large disconnect between IT leaders and their IT staff in how they view the state of their big-data efforts. While more than half of IT leaders believe their big data initiatives have moved from a state of "not considered/exploring" to "developing/implementing/applying," just 41 percent of IT professionals feel the same way.

Additionally, nearly three-quarters of the IT leaders surveyed, compared to just 64 percent of their IT staff, are confident that their organizations can effectively address the challenges associated with big data initiatives in the next two years.

The two groups do have common views on a number of issues, including how big data can be applied in the future. IT leaders and IT workers agree that the top four business objectives that big-data initiatives will help with include the following: improving forecasting and modeling effectiveness, reducing costs, identifying new business opportunities and business trends, and improving sales efficiency and effectiveness.

The study found that they also agree on the need for more skilled big-data experts. More than 80 percent of IT leaders and 77 percent of other IT professionals believe there is a significant shortage of workers with the skills required to plan, execute and take advantage of potential big-data projects.

Both groups also believe finding employeeswith combined IT and business skills — such as strong aptitudes for business, technology, mathematics and statistics — as their greatest need.

Jason Hayman, research manager at TEKsystems, said that although the promise of big-data initiatives is commonly accepted, organizational readiness is questionable.

"The skills organizations need do not necessarily come from the usual IT talent pools, and the competition for those skill sets is heated," Hayman said. "Organizations need to develop a blended sourcing strategy for hiring the innovative thinkers with backgrounds in mathematics and statistics."

Overall, 90 percent of IT leaders and 84 percent of other IT professionals believe investments of time, money and resources into big-data projects are worthwhile.

The study was based on surveys of more than 1,500 IT leaders and 2,000 IT professionals from companies of all sizes.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.