Lack of Big Data Skills Hampers Adoption Says Economist Intelligence Unit Report

Half of Organisations Across APAC Anticipate 25% Revenue Boost or Higher as Businesses Seek Commercial Success With Big Data Projects

SYDNEY— November 29, 2013 — Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), today said a survey of Australian and New Zealand businesses revealed they are eager to implement big data projects but in order to succeed they need better skills and communication.

The survey results are published in a Hitachi Data Systems-commissioned Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research paper titled “The Hype and the Hope: The Road to Big Data Adoption in Asia-Pacific”, which polled more than 500 business executives in Asia Pacific.

The single biggest factor hampering adoption of big data in ANZ is a lack of in-house skills, as 43% of organisations said that it was a key barrier. The 166 ANZ businesses surveyed also said a lack of suitable software and problems with overly complicated reports was also holding back adoption.

“The key challenge for organisations seeking to reap the benefits of big data is to acquire the right skill sets and manage communication better across the enterprise and between departments,” said Neville Vincent, senior vice president and general manager, Hitachi Data Systems Asia Pacific. “We believe that over time organisations will appoint a data scientist who combines the disciplines of business, statistical analysis, and software development, enabling businesses to properly harness the true value from their data.”

The survey also said nearly 40% of organisations in ANZ do not have a big data strategy, primarily due to the communication and skills challenge. Nearly 20% plan to roll out big data solutions, but those plans had been poorly communicated.

Big Data Directly Affects the Bottom Line
The survey results indicate that businesses see value from making investments in big data. The value seen by almost half of the firms surveyed in Asia Pacific believe is that big data can improve revenue by 25% or more. As a result, the 500+ companies being surveyed anticipate a potential increase of US$250 billion in revenue.

Despite the lack of progress, Australian respondents mirror the belief that big data can improve their business: more than 70% believe it can deliver gains in productivity, profitability and innovation. Other expected benefits from respondents include:



  • 63% expect to see a 25% or higher improvement in knowledge management and transfer in their company.
  • 73% expect forecasting accuracy to improve by 25% or more.
  • 76% expect management / strategic decision making to improve by 25% or more.

Organisations Increasingly Tap Social Media and Machine-Generated Data

The report also showed that 92% of businesses in ANZ rely on their own internal databases to source information, while 53% are sourcing syndicated data from third-party providers. Thirty-seven percent of ANZ businesses are using social media data sources such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs for data insight.

Businesses also increasingly tap location-based and contact centre data, while 20% are using machine-generated data such as sensors, smart grid, RFID, network logs and telematics to make business decisions. Across the Asia Pacific region, some 80% of front-line employees believe that improved access to data is critical, but only 19% say they can always access the data they need.

The challenge of implementing the right data management systems resulted in only 12% of ANZ businesses claiming they had achieved success with their big data strategies. However, 39% reported some level of success with their big data strategy. The key to success for organisations seeking to extract value from their data strategies is to ensure that they create the right technology infrastructure for an environment in which technical expertise and information are shared across teams.

“Businesses should adopt policies that help break down silos, improve internal communications and establish advanced technology platforms, which can deliver a substantial lift to revenue and bottom line,” Vincent said. “The survey shows there is a strong appetite for data analytics and we expect this sector to take off in the next year as organisations recognise the commercial, organisational, and operational benefits.”

About the research
The survey of 550 organisations in the Asia Pacific region, including 166 organisations from ANZ by The Economist Intelligence Unit, polled a mix of senior and frontline managers in October 2013. Seventy percent of the businesses had more than US$500 million in annual revenues. To download a copy of the report, please visit

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About Hitachi Data Systems
Hitachi Data Systems provides information technologies, services and solutions that help companies improve IT costs and agility, and innovate with information to make a difference in the world. Our customers gain compelling return on investment (ROI), unmatched return on assets (ROA), and demonstrable business impact. With approximately 6,300 employees worldwide, Hitachi Data Systems does business in more than 100 countries and regions. Our products, services and solutions are trusted by the world's leading enterprises, including more than 70% of the Fortune 100 and more than 80% of the Fortune Global 100. Visit us at

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2012 (ended March 31, 2013) totaled 9,041 billion yen ($96.1 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional material & components, automotive systems and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at

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