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More big data initiatives moving to the cloud, study finds

The cloud is taking center stage in organizations’ big data initiatives, according to a new report from AtScale, a business intelligence technology provider.

As part of its research, conducted in conjunction with partners including Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR, Tableau, ODPi, and Apache Software Foundation, AtScale surveyed 5,593 organizations worldwide over a period of three years. The survey showed that more than half of the organizations (59 percent) have deployed big data in the cloud, and 77 percent are projecting they will use the cloud for big data in the future.

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Servers and hard drives stand inside pod one of International Business Machines Corp.'s (IBM) Softlayer data center in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. IBM is scheduled to release earnings figures on Jan. 21. Photographer: Ben Torres/Bloomberg

While the cloud is taking on more of a focus, the typical enterprise data analytics portfolio continues to combine traditional data warehousing systems, contemporary data platforms (such as Hadoop), and big data services. This is making IT leaders’ tasks more diverse and complicated, the report said.

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Hybrid data environments have and will continue to become the norm. Only 20 percent of those surveyed said they look at big data as a replacement strategy for earlier data platforms. That means companies need to continue to build an agile data environment that can accommodate traditional BI platforms in concert with a modern data environment, the study said.

Other key findings: 78 percent of respondents ranked their big data maturity as “medium” or “high”, but only 12 percent have a high level of maturity; and 55 percent are still dealing with a siloed, decentralized analytics team.

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