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Survey suggests only 7% of European companies rate Big Data as very relevant to their business


Paris, France – 5 September, 2013 – Steria, a leading provider of IT-enabled business services, today announced the findings of its fourth Business Intelligence Maturity Audit (biMA®) survey, which found that only 7% of European companies grade Big Data as very relevant to their business.
The biMA® survey has been developed by Steria over the past 10 years. This year’s survey, carried out in 20 countries across Europe, found that while progress has been made in improving BI use, strategies are beginning to stagnate. As a result, many businesses are unfortunately missing out on harnessing Big Data as a strategic asset for business development. A number of technical and organisational challenges have been revealed as contributing to businesses’ inability to reap the benefits of Big Data:

  • 72% of companies haven’t got a Business Intelligence (BI) strategy and 70% of survey participants state that their company has not established a BI governance.

  • Data quality is the Achilles heel of BI and continues to be neglected, despite being the foundation of all BI analysis. 38% of companies have a data problem.

  • A lack of data governance, insufficient standardisation of internal processes and no master data management system (38% of businesses do not have any) also play a key role in poor data quality and the inability to share and integrate data across the business.

  • The Big Data age is yet to arrive – volume, variety and velocity are not yet viewed as big challenges. Scaling options relating to rapidly growing data volumes only represent a serious problem for 8% of companies. A lack of support for polystructured data types is only a challenge for 4% of companies. (Near) real-time data as the basis for operational BI was also only stated very rarely as a problem (9%). Therefore only 7% of participants grade Big Data as very relevant.

  • Big Data’s characteristics (velocity ranked 13th, volume ranked 14th and variety ranked 15th as challenge) are valued far behind challenges arising from insufficient data quality.

  • Business units and IT departments have differing mind sets towards Big Data. Employees in business areas have higher expectations of the trend than IT. For example, there are clear differences in the assessment of the significance of Big Data for improved customer segmentation (business 30 % vs. IT 23 %). It appears that the business users associate Big Data with comprehensive analysis options for web data and social networks in order to take a massive step towards a 360° understanding of the customer.

  • The BI challenges hinder businesses’ ability to embed enterprise-wide BI strategies with clear ROI, suggesting the benefits of the technology are not clear to all decision-makers. It also raises the question of who should create and drive BI strategies within the business.

In today’s tough economic climate, being able to handle Big Data will become crucial for the organisation’s competitiveness, innovation and growth. The survey acts as a barometer, demonstrating the reality and identifying the stumbling blocks that are preventing BI adoption and putting big data into a clear business context.

Patricia Langrand, Executive Vice President, Group Business Development & Marketing at Steria commented: “This survey pulls back the curtain on the reality facing European businesses today when it comes to big data. As a trend affecting businesses of all size and sector, it will become a deciding factor in the success of businesses who want to grow, be productive and competitive. Failure to recognise its transformational benefits will see more companies fall by the wayside.”

“The findings of this survey can help businesses test and enhance their own BI strategies, by approaching big data tactically to overcome the challenges stalling success. This means focusing more on data quality, addressing the disconnect between business and IT departments by demonstrating clear use cases for Big Data, and gaining buy-in and understanding from all areas of the business. This will ultimately help to bridge the gap between the hype, expectations and reality of big data in today’s competitive business landscape.”

In summary
Steria’s Business Intelligence Maturity Audit (biMA®) survey examines the readiness of European businesses in embracing Big Data. This year’s report found that only 7% of European companies grade Big Data as very relevant. Big Data’s characteristics (velocity ranked 13th, volume ranked 14th and variety ranked 15th) are valued far behind challenges arising from insufficient data quality. Data quality is the Achilles heel of BI and 38% of companies have a data problem.

- ENDS -

About the survey:
The biMA® study 2012/13 is the fourth survey to investigate the development and status quo of the BI user market. Steria conducted this year‘s study in cooperation with the Business Application Research Center (BARC). The methodology used was based on the biMM® maturity level model (Business Intelligence Maturity Model) and the biMA® (Business Intelligence Maturity Audit). The online user survey was conducted in Europe between November 2012 and January 2013 and questioned 668 participants from 20 different European countries, making it one of the largest Business Intelligence surveys in Europe. The full report summarising the findings of the survey can be found here:


About Steria:
Steria delivers IT enabled business services and is the Trusted Transformation Partner for private and public sector organisations across the globe. By combining in depth understanding of our clients' businesses with expertise in IT and business process outsourcing, we take on our clients' challenges and develop innovative solutions to address them efficiently and profitably. Through our highly collaborative consulting style, we work with our clients to transform their business, enabling them to focus on what they do best. Our 20,000 people, working across 16 countries, support the systems, services and processes that make today's world turn, touching the lives of millions around the globe each day. Founded in 1969, Steria has offices in Europe, India, North Africa and SE Asia and a 2012 revenue of €1.83 billion. Over 20%(*) of Steria's capital is owned by its employees. Headquartered in Paris, Steria is listed on the Euronext Paris market.
(*): including “SET Trust” and “XEBT Trust” (4.15% of capital)

Press contact
Jennifer Lansman
Tel: +33 1 34 88 61 27

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