A majority of firms active in the capital markets do not have a big data strategy in place across the enterprise, according to a new report commissioned by Thomson Reuters and produced by Aite Group.

The study, “Big Data in Capital Markets: At the Start of the Journey,” assesses the implementation of big data strategy among financial services firms. Those firms that are implementing big data are mostly doing so in specific functional areas, according to the report, which is based on a survey of 423 financial services firms conducted in May and June 2014. The most popular uses for big data within respondent firms are analytics for trading and quantitative research.

Other key findings are that half of the respondents have invested in big data already; half either currently employ or plan to hire a data scientist in the next 24 months; and respondents cite inadequate technical knowledge as the most commonly encountered challenge during a big data project, highlighting the need for appropriately skilled staff to implement such a strategy.

In addition, as more capital-market-specific use cases for big data become prevalent in the market, firms will become more comfortable with these strategies, the study finds. Current investments in big data are largely focused on revenue-generating opportunities in the front office, but the future is likely to see much more focus on client retention, compliance function support, and enterprise risk management and governance.

“As more financial services firms move off the sidelines and ramp up their big data strategies, they will need to find insight, speed of response, and future scalability in order to boost their success in the market and take their business to the next level; we can help them find those corresponding keys to success,” Debra Walton, chief content officer, Financial & Risk at Thomson Reuters, said in a statement.

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