European organisations are increasingly recognising the potential of big data, but successful implementation is by no means certain, with new research highlighting a number of obstacles businesses must first overcome.
As Computer World reports, firms are optimistic that they will get a positive return on investment, despite many anticipating problems, with 74% of the participants in Xerox's study saying they expect to see investment gains outstrip costs within 12 months.
The research, which saw 330 top level business executives across Western European countries questioned, revealed that more than half of firms are already seeing gains from investment in big data.
However, a lack of expertise was found to be slowing down the business transformation that big data solutions offer.
Some 70% of executives said they are still experiencing inaccurate data in their systems – nearly half of whom (46%) stated that the issue is having a negative impact on their business.
Such problems don't appear to be dampening positivity about big data too much, however, with well over half (61%) of organisations stating that decisions made over the course of the next 12 months are likely to be based more on data-driven intelligence rather than individuals' opinions or gut feeling.
Meanwhile, other research from MIT Sloan Management Review and SAS suggests a lack of talent is the single biggest factor hindering executives when it comes to big data implementation.
As such, the study showed that those firms that have a "data scientist" role in their organisations are more than twice as likely to clearly prioritise data projects.
David Kiron, executive editor for MIT Sloan Management Review, said the results show that there is a great value in ensuring that the integration of big data is well mapped out.
He concluded: "Companies that are less successful with analytics tend not to have a plan - their approach to analytics talent is scattered and inconsistent."