Canadian Companies Slow to Adjust to Big Data

Operational efficiency is top use of data in the country

While the interpretation of data is one of the greatest challenges businesses face, most see it as essential to remaining competitive. More than three-quarters of companies around the world were already using tools to interpret “Big Data,” according to an IDC survey conducted by SAS.

In Canada, however, businesses appear to be falling behind. The August 2012 survey of executives at primarily financial services, retail, and telecom and utility companies in the country found that fewer than half had begun to work with data.

While another one-quarter of respondents were just beginning to work with Big Data, a significant 15% of executives in the country had no plans at all to work with the information torrent.

Canadian Companies Slow to Adjust to Big Data

To use data effectively, many believe the task can’t be siloed in a lower-level department; it must be integrated at all levels. Here again, businesses in Canada have some catching up to do.

Nearly half of companies worldwide that worked with data had either a CEO or CIO in charge of data management strategy. In Canada, however, only one-third of companies working with Big Data had a top executive leading the effort, while one out four left the task to mid-level IT managers. That’s compared to only 4% of worldwide data-driven businesses that did the same.

And though worldwide, customer-centric outcomes have been a focus of Big Data initiatives, operational efficiency was the area where businesses in Canada were most likely to have put data to work.

About eMarketer

By gathering the latest research and news from over 1,000 sources, eMarketer has established itself as the world’s leading provider of internet and e-business statistics. eMarketer’s Web site is at