More than three-quarters of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data in the next two years, a 3% increase over 2014, according to a recent survey of IT and business leaders by Gartner.
The survey, which was conducted among 437 Gartner Research Circle Members last June, included global organizations across all industries — both Gartner clients and non-clients.
"This year begins the shift of big data away from a topic unto itself, and toward standard practices," said Nick Heudecker, research director at Gartner.
"For example, among companies that have invested in big data technology, 70% are analyzing or planning to analyze location data, and 64% are analyzing or planning to analyze free-form text,” said Heudecker.
As in previous years, organizations are overwhelmingly targeting enhanced customer experience as the primary goal of big data projects (64%).
Process efficiency and more-targeted marketing are now tied at 47%. And as data breaches continue to make headlines, enhanced security capabilities saw the largest increase, from 15% to 23%.
When asked about ROI for big data efforts, the majority of those companies with plans to invest in big data and those that have invested expect a positive ROI.
However, a large proportion of companies (43% of those planning to invest and 38% of those that have already invested) don't know if their ROI will be positive or negative. This uncertainty highlights the challenges in determining the value of big data projects.