45% of businesses have no data analytics platform experience and 62% are without the skills to understand ethical, responsible and compliant use of customer data

60% of organisations state that making better use of customer insights, trend data and information in and around their business will be the key to unlocking the next wave of growth, according to the Big Data League study from EMC UK today. The study of 300 business and technical decision makers across UK enterprise and the public sector reveals that despite recognition of the big data opportunity, businesses in all sectors are struggling with skills and infrastructure challenges. Just under half (45%) of businesses have no data analytics platform experience while 62% are without the skills to understand ethical, responsible and compliant use of customer data. Alongside the skills shortage, 42% of all respondents state that IT infrastructure limitations are holding them back, with 44% of financial services decision makers unable to flex infrastructure fast enough to make better use of data.

Big data readiness was assessed through a self-assessment study with business and technical decision makers conducted by market researchers Opinium, which delivered an aggregate ‘score’ based on the following criteria:

  •  Culture and leadership: Current barriers and drivers for capitalising on data in business. 61% of leaders identified driving new revenue streams in relation to data with the IT, telecoms and media sector ranked the highest, though 67% of retail sector leaders identified the potential to make more money and drive growth through data analysis as a key driver
  •  Skills: The availability of data science and analytical skills/tools to transform data into insight. 38% of businesses are recruiting data scientists or business intelligence experts.
  •  Infrastructure: The speed with which analytics-intensive queries can be fielded by the business. 30% of organisations across sectors are able to manipulate large and/or complex data sets for analysis within minutes, with the public sector taking the lead. But not all data can be accessed. Across sectors, up to half of all businesses have no access to sales, finance, product and customer sentiment data

The league table scores* are as follows:


*To calculate the EMC Big Data League table, for each respondent a score was allocated according to their responses to each question in three areas: leadership and culture, skills and infrastructure. The scores were added up for each respondent across the three areas as well as a total score. These individual respondent scores were then averaged across the 5 industry sectors reviewed in the research (Finance, IT, Retail, Public Sector and Manufacturing) to give an average score for each industry in each of the three areas as well as overall. These averages were then put into a league table to deduce which industries fared the best and worst in each area and overall when it comes to their companies use of big data.

EMC Executive Quote:

James Petter, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, UK & Ireland, EMC Corporation

“We’re past the point where people can write off the potential for and use of data as the responsibility of IT or an operational silo. It has to be a strategic focus for the business if we are to successfully deliver a new era of accelerated growth in an uncertain, hyper-competitive market context. It’s great to see that the majority of businesses across all sectors are embracing big data analytics of some kind, but there’s clearly a long way to go before all businesses are equipped with the right skills, leadership and IT infrastructure to drive real change and new opportunities in their markets. Now is the time for businesses to invest in their people and processes to make sure that they don’t get left behind.”

Analyst Quote:

Big Data League table
Big Data League table

Steve Duplessie, Founder and Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group Inc.

“We know empirically that 20% of organisations feel they have a ‘problematic shortage of existing skills’ in the area of Business Intelligence and Analytics. We also know that companies less than 10 years old are reaping significantly more value from analytics than their older counterparts. Traditional companies need to get moving faster in the analytics uptake, or the gaps are going to widen.”

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  •  View additional related news from EMC via the EMC UK Newsblog
  •  Sector reports available here:

o Public Sector:
o IT, telecoms and media:
o Retail:
o Financial Services:
o Manufacturing and engineering: