big dataMore organizations may be investing in big data projects but few have actually deployed such initiatives. According to a Gartner study released Tuesday, 64 percent of businesses said they were investing or planning to invest in big data technology, up from 58 percent last year, with 30 percent already invested. However, less than 8 percent said they had actually rolled out such projects.

The survey polled 720 members of Gartner’s global “Research Circle” which comprises business leaders who are asked to express their opinions on hot industry topics and key initiatives. The study was conducted in June 2013 and aimed at assessing the organizations’ IT investment around big data, stages in their big data adoption, challenges, among other issues.

Despite the seemingly mismatch between investment plans and actual deployments, Gartner said the study findings indicated “real substance behind the hype”. “Our survey underlines the fact that organizations across industries and geographies see ‘opportunity’ and real business value, rather than the ‘smoke and mirrors’ with which hypes usually come,” said Lisa Kart, Gartner’s research director.

The survey revealed that 19 percent planned to invest in big data initiatives within the next year, while another 15 percent would do likewise within two years.

Verticals leading such investments this year were companies in the media and communications, banking, and services sectors. Some 39 percent in media and communications said they had already invested in big data, while 34 percent in banking said likewise, followed by 32 percent of services vendors.

Fifty percent of respondents in transportation said they planned to invest in big data over the next two years, while 41 percent in healthcare and 40 percent in insurance said likewise.

Globally, North America in terms of investment with 38 percent of respondents in the region having invested in technology to resolve big data issues. Not to be outdone, 45 percent of companies in the Asia-Pacific region said they planned to invest in such initiatives over the next two years. EMEA and Latin America again lagged in adoption in big data, Gartner said.

big-data-binaryCompanies are struggling to figure out how to extract value from big data.

Among those that had already invested, 70 percent said they had moved past the stage of early-knowledge gathering and strategy formation while 40 percent said they had began pilots, and 25 percent were in deployment. Of those with investment plans over the next two years, 80 percent were in the earlier stages of gathering knowledge and planning their strategy.

“For big data, 2013 is the year of experimentation and early deployment,” said Frank Buytendijk, research vice president at the research firm. “Adoption is still at the early stages with less than 8 percent of all respondents indicating their organization has deployed big data solutions. [Across the board], 20 percent are piloting and experimenting, 18 percent are developing a strategy, 19 percent are knowledge gathering, while the remainder has no plans or don’t know.” By Eileen Yu read more