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TEKsystems Study Reveals Reality Gap in Big Data Initiatives

Sep 25, 2013 | HANOVER, MD | For media inquiries, please contact us at

Hanover, Md. – September 25, 2013 – TEKsystems® today released the findings of its latest industry survey which reveals how IT leaders and IT professionals view the current state of Big Data initiatives and their impact on their organizations. The study exposes the fact that while Big Data is viewed as impacting organizations on a grand scale, IT leaders are under the impression that they have progressed further than IT professionals can verify.

The study, conducted on behalf of TEKsystems Global Services®, represents views of more than 1,500 IT leaders and 2,000 IT professionals from companies of all sizes. Key findings include:

Big Data – Difference of Opinion on Progress and Confidence

Ninety percent of IT leaders and 84 percent of IT professionals believe investments of time, money and resources into Big Data initiatives are worthwhile, however opinions vary on where their organizations stand on being able to take advantage of Big Data efforts.

  • More than half of IT leaders (51%) believe their Big Data initiatives have moved from “not considered/exploring” to “developing/implementing/applying” as compared to 41 percent of IT professionals.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) of IT leaders are confident that their organizations can effectively address challenges associated with Big Data initiatives in the next 2 years, while only 64 percent of IT professionals express the same confidence.

Big Data – Agreement on Priorities and Challenges

Both IT leaders and IT professionals have common viewpoints on a number of issues.

  • Both groups rank the top four business objectives that Big Data initiatives will assist in addressing as improving forecasting and modeling effectiveness, reducing costs, identifying new business opportunities and business trends, and improving sales efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Both groups list “lack of skilled resources to implement, maintain or interpret analytics,” and “lack of IT infrastructure, software or tools capable of turning data into actionable insights,” as two of the top three inhibitors to effectively leveraging data and analytics. 
  • In terms of experiencing the most difficulty, both groups rank volume of data as being more challenging than velocity or variety of data.
  • The majority of both groups agree that “ownership” of the data is unclear or undefined.

Big Data – Skill Sets the Missing Link

More than 80 percent of IT leaders and 77 percent of IT professionals believe there is a significant shortage of workers with the skills required to plan, execute and take advantage of the potential of Big Data projects.

  • More than half of organizations are already feeling the squeeze as 56 percent of IT leaders and 57 percent of IT professionals report their organization finds it difficult to retain workers with analytics skills.
  • Both IT leaders and IT professionals rank “workers with combined IT and business skills (strong aptitudes for business, technology, mathematics and statistics)” as their highest need.
  • IT leaders believe their organizations mostly address the skills required through permanent hiring, training and developing of internal staff, whereas IT professionals believe that their organization normally hires temporary workers to address any skills gaps.

"While the promise of Big Data initiatives are commonly accepted, the organizational readiness is questionable," says TEKsystems Research Manager, Jason Hayman. “The skills organizations need do not necessarily come from the usual IT talent pools and the competition for those skill sets is heated. Organizations need to develop a blended sourcing strategy for hiring the innovative thinkers with backgrounds in mathematics and statistics."

TEKsystems' Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information
about the survey or to schedule an interview please contact Rick McLaughlin (

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.