Round-up: Does Big Data Pay Off?

    Big Data can pay off — if you have a well-defined data strategy that’s focused on business priorities, a report released this week states.

    The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 752 companies around the world about their use and management of Big Data. Fifty-percent of the respondents were C-level or board-level executives, and 55 percent came from companies with annual revenues exceeding $500 million.

    What the report found is 46 percent of executives whose companies “significantly outperform their peers financially” also said they had a well-defined data strategy. That’s more than four times the figure for their less successful peers.

    The report, which was sponsored by business analytics vendor SAS, included several other key findings:

    • Companies succeed with Big Data by focusing on business priorities.
    • Success with Big Data depends on talent as much as technology.
    • Customer-facing areas of the business benefit the most from Big Data projects that involve social media analytics or Web-tracking.

    The full report, “Big Data: Lessons from the Leaders,” is available for free download.

    MuleSoft Offers Free Salesforce Data Loader

    MuleSoft, an open source data management vendor, is now offering a new data integration tool for moving data to and from Salesforce. It unveiled the new tool,, at Dreamforce 2012 this week.

    MuleSoft is staking claim to the title of “first entirely cloud-based data loader app for the CRM solution” with this one.

    What you need to know: It’s a Web-based application for importing, exporting and deleting data in Added bonus: It’s free and the amount of data you can move is … drumroll please … unlimited.

    Use case: Moving data in and out of Salesforce is one of the most common tasks administrators have to deal with, so it won’t be hard to find a use case, but it’s worth noting that the tool may also thrill the consultants who provide services to businesses.

    Pentaho, Cisco Offer Big Data Appliance

    Pentaho and Cisco announced this week they’re teaming up to offer a hardware/software solution for running Big Data business analytics.

    They’re not calling it an appliance, but I’m not sure why, since it certainly seems to function as one. The solution will be Pentaho’s open source Big Data software running on Cisco’s Unified Computing Systems line of servers.

    What you need to know: It’s open source and will make it easy to ensure you’ve got the muscle to manage your Big Data. The Var Guy has an excellent write-up on this, if you’d like to know more.

    Use cases: Any Big Data use cases, but the Var Guy said a Cisco representative specifically mentioned things like sentiment or customer risk analysis.

    Free Resources for the Week of July 2-6: Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m. ET. “Will the EnterpriseWeb Transform Business?” During this live Briefing Room, analyst Robin Bloor will explain how a RESTful approach can be used by organizations to support a real-time data architecture. Ideate representative Dave Duggal will give a briefing on the Ideate Framework, a real-time application-integration platform that links information in an EnterpriseWeb.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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