Home Industry Strategy Aussie companies not getting the most out of rising data volumes

Australian organisations have been warned they may be placed at risk of litigation through compliance breaches due to the increasing cost of collecting and analysing business data, and that the problem could negatively impact their competitive potential in the wider market.

According to data management vendor CommVault, a recent survey and whitepaper it commissioned from IDC, reveals that Australian executives consider the exponential growth and complexity of data to be their top data management challenge, and 86% of them admit that they are at risk of jeopardising business operation if they lose the battle to effectively use their data.

The survey of more than 500 IT executives across Asia-Pacific reveals that 47% of Australian organisations are expecting data to grow 20-50% year on year (YOY) this year, with an additional 15% of organisations expecting growth of over 50%.fifty percent.

According to Bryan Stibbard, CommVault Area Vice President for Australia and New Zealand, organisations of all sizes and across all industries are missing “huge amounts of value and businesses opportunities, as they continue to overlook the significance of analysing unstructured datasets.”

“Unstructured data comprises the constant stream of information generated from everyday interactions via email and social media on mobile devices, to monitoring equipment, scientific research, and medical and government records.

“The most critical element is being able to identify what that data is and where it resides within an organisation. That enables knowing what data should be kept and what should be discarded.”

Stibbard also says the increasing cost of collecting and analysing today’s business data is negatively impacting the competitive potential in the wider market for Australian organisations and they are missing an opportunity to gain business value from increasing volumes of captured data.

According to Stibbard, there is a large discrepancy between the amount of data growth across Australian organisations and the level of analysis that is being applied, “especially when considering analysis of semi-structured and unstructured data generated via text from communications systems.”

And, acccording to the Whitepaper author Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, IDC Senior Program Manager of Big Data and Analytics, Data Management, and Enterprise Applications, the real opportunity to gain business value from increasing volumes of captured data, exists in combining “internal sources of data, like customer data, with external sources like social networking and location.”

“This can help organisations gain a holistic view of their customer transactions and circumstances, enabling them to understand preferences, habits, and future requirements — all in context.

“ANZ organisations are among the most mature in the region, and they are now becoming more focused on utilising their data to the fullest extent possible, but the lack of skill sets, optimal tools, and gaps in processes still present challenges."

Jimenez says that the survey also found that Australian organisations are spreading critical business data across a combination of multiple locations, legacy physical systems and cloud-based services, “adding to the complexity of ingesting, protecting and accessing information.”

He suggests that in order to derive value from data across these increasingly disparate tiers and physical locations, “it is critical that data be transitioned into a single, consistent, vendor-agnostic and universally accessible store.”

"Data management continues to be a top challenge for organisations in Australia, especially in the context of Big Data and cloud. All this demands new approaches to managing, finding, and analysing data across different sources. Having a holistic view into all data assets across applications, devices, operating systems and locations is critical," Jimenez said.

According to Stibbard, Australian firms that have approached CommVault to “solve such challenges in the past six months alone,” include Consolidated Minerals, Defence Housing Australia, Lonely Planet, TasWater and WestFund.  

“An effective data management solution needs to provide effective backup, replication, snapshots and archiving of both physical and virtual information, regardless of where that data resides. This kind of single unified solution would not only alleviate customer concerns around how to effectively manage and protect data that is created outside the firewall or lives in the cloud, but it would also provide key insights that facilitate business decisions,” Stibbard  concludes.

The survey findings show that:

•    47% of all Australian organisations are expecting data growth as much as 20-50% in 2014, compared to an average of 39% across all of Asia Pacific that are expecting the same 20-50% data growth

•    While 83% of Australian organisations capture transactional data and analyse 82% of it, large discrepancies are seen between the capture and analysis of semi-structured and unstructured data types

•    87% of Australian organisations capture data generated via text from communications systems, yet only 76% analyse it

•    Further gaps between data collected versus data analysed are seen in machine to machine data (62%  vs. 58% ), video (49% vs. 28% ) and social media feeds (26% vs. 17%).

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Peter Dinham

 

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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