Rogue Big Data could be a significant problem for businesses

Every business leader will have no-doubt heard about Big Data, and many will be in the planning stages of such an initiative.

This is the trend that offers unparalleled access to highly relevant information that's useful over the long term – though it could also be a disaster waiting to happen.

A new report from CIO has shed light on so-called 'rogue' Big Data strategies, those which are being run within companies without consulting the IT department.

Failing to enlist IT expertise or even a measure of guidance could leave businesses with less than perfect and even failed initiatives.

The Rogue Big Data wave

Companies could be entering turbulent waters if Big Data strategies are started without proper management.

Departments within companies using Big Data are operating so-called rogue projects – those that are undertaken without consultation with the IT department.

Around 36 per cent of the business units surveyed by Pure Profile (on behalf of Rackspace) were found to have not consulted with IT departments, or only carried out partial consultations. Over one-fifth of the respondents said that departments within the business had started their own Big Data projects.

The study noted that marketing, sales and finance took the top three spots when it came to running rogue Big Data projects without a strategy. Just 28 per cent of the 500 survey respondents said they were using a data analytics strategy.

This is a significant oversight, especially given the complexity of Big Data management.

Further down the end of the size scale, SMEs were noted as having the largest gap between Big Data understanding and the potential benefits. There was also a smaller percentage of companies willing to actually implement a strategy.

However, General Manager at Rackspace Angus Dorney said it was important for SMEs to focus on Big Data, as it's not limited to "the big end of town".

"Storing and accessing data is available to all. Making a start with data collection is what counts, even if you're not quite sure why and how you'll use the data immediately," he explained.

Strategies and outside help

The key issue that businesses need to address would appear to be a focused strategy – something that could prove difficult for companies to implement.

In these instances, it may prove useful to enlist the help of an external provider, or take the time to plan a Big Data initiative adequately before proceeding with any sort of implementation.

Managing a Big Data initiative

An IT framework can play an instrumental role in controlling a Big Data initiative, by providing a set of clear-cut guidelines for the company. These are guidelines that have been proven to work.

ITIL, for example, is an IT service management methodology that has been used time and again as a way for companies to effectively manage IT projects.

As the core of ITIL is helping businesses to realise transformation and growth, it's perfectly paired to Big Data – one of the most comprehensive changes to how information is gathered and managed.

For businesses looking to get started with the framework in order to step up Big Data strategies, it can pay to talk to an expert provider about the ITIL range of certifications and courses.

Get in touch with ALC Training today, as courses are held in major cities throughout the Asia Pacific and in other key locations across the globe.

Looking ahead

Big Data is a trend that's certainly showing no sign of slowing uptake, and this isn't really surprising given the array of advantages seen through data analysis.

However, a Big Data strategy isn't a simple undertaking, and it requires focus from both the department heading up the strategy and assistance from the IT department.

With tight control and pre-determined objectives, a Big Data operation certainly faces a higher likelihood of success.