Sixty-one percent of IT leaders expect spending on big data initiatives to increase, while only 5% expect decreases. The challenge: Finding the right big data talent to fulfill those initiatives, according to a recent survey by TEKsystems.

Nearly 60% of the respondents are confident that their IT department can satisfy big data demands of the business and 14% are not confident, according to TEKsystems, a provider of IT staffing and talent management services.

"The data indicates current expectations of big data are still somewhat unrealistic due to market hype,” the report states. “Despite IT leaders expecting spending to increase, the confidence level in their department’s ability to meet big data demands in comparison to broader IT initiatives is lower.”

About two thirds of the IT executives rank big data architects as the most difficult role to fill. Data scientists (48%) and data modelers (43%) round out the top three most difficult positions to fill. More technical big data positions are ranked less difficult to fill.

Not by coincidence, big data companies are introducing online and face-to-face training programs and certifications for Hadoop and other related software platforms.

Still, other big data challenges remain. Variety—the dimension of big data dealing with the different forms of data—hinders organizations from deriving value from big data the most, according to 45% of those surveyed. Speed of data is next in terms of challenges, at 31%, followed by the amount of data, at 24%.

The application of big data is happening in a number of business areas, according to the study, with 81% of organizations viewing operations and fulfillment as priority areas within the next 12 months. This was followed by customer satisfaction (53%), business strategy (52%), governance/risk/compliance (51%) and sales/marketing (49%).

More than 200 IT leaders participated in the February 2015 survey.

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