The vast majority of executives from companies leveraging big data to drive business are satisfied with the results, according to new research from Accenture.

Accenture surveyed C-level executives and other senior technology leaders from 19 countries; 94 percent of executives who have tapped into big data said they are satisfied with the results, the study found.

Moreover, 89 percent of those respondents rate big data as “very important” or “extremely important” to transforming operations into a digital business. Eighty-two percent of executives agreed big data provides a significant source of value for their companies.

“Businesses are at a transition point­­ where instead of just talking about the potential results that can be achieved from big data, they are realizing actual benefits including increasing revenues, a growing base of loyal customers, and more efficient operations,” noted Narendra Mulani, senior managing director of Accenture Analytics, in a press release. “They’re recognizing that big data is one of the cornerstones of digital transformation.”

The study noted that companies are using big data moderately or extensively to:

  • Identify new sources of revenue (95 percent)
  • Retain and acquire customers (90 percent)
  • Develop new products and services (89 percent)

“Today, even the most basic items like water pipes can generate and provide data. While the Internet of Things is giving rise to massive sources and quantities of data, new big data technologies are emerging that help uncover crucial business insights from the data. Companies not implementing big data solutions are missing an opportunity to turn their data into an asset that drives business and a competitive advantage,” added Mulani.

Perhaps even more importantly, executives noted that they are seeing significant business impact from their use of big data.

According to the study, respondents noted “extensive, tangible” benefits from big data in several areas, including:

  • Finding new sources of revenue (56 percent)
  • New product and service development (50 percent)
  • Acquiring and retaining customers (47 percent)
  • Improving the customer experience (51 percent)

The report recommends that companies aim to stay nimble when exploring various data sources and technology so that they can exploit new opportunities as they emerge.

Furthermore, the report recommends that companies start small with their use of big data, focusing resources around proving value from big data in one business area first through a pilot program. Finally, Accenture recommends that companies focus on building big data skills in their organizations.

The study found that only five percent of organizations said their company used only internal resources for their big data projects, with most noting that they are turning to external expertise for help with this work.

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