Big Data Fueling Plans to Increase Analytic Investments in 2013, According to New Lavastorm Analytics Survey

Organizations will invest in people, tools, and skills to improve business performance through broader use of Big Data, predictive analytics, and data discovery

BOSTON, Massachusetts – March 21, 2013 – New research reveals that interest in optimizing the use of Big Data, Predictive Analytics and Data Discovery will help drive increased global analytic and business intelligence (BI) software and staffing investments in 2013. The new survey details the challenges and goals that are driving analytics professionals to adopt new tools and techniques to manage the ever-increasing amount of data needed to make critical business decisions every day.

In the survey conducted by Lavastorm Analytics, a leading global analytics software company, more than 600 business analysts, technologists, data analytics professionals, managers and C-level professionals were polled across a broad variety of industries – including finance, telecom, healthcare and computer software – regarding their analytic initiatives and predictions for 2013. Three-quarters of the respondents (75 percent) indicated that they still routinely use Excel for self-service analytics processes along with at least three other tools.  R language was the second most used tool, with 35 percent of respondents indicating they use it. Of the remaining 24 self-service analytics tools, 17 of them were used by less than ten percent of the audience, showing the diversity of tools that people use to derive value from their data and optimize business performance.

The survey results, however, also show that nearly 60 percent of respondents plan to increase their analytic investments this year across a number of areas and tools, indicating that current toolsets are perhaps not meeting the top three challenges of conducting complex analytics. According to the respondents, these three main challenges are:

  • Gleaning insights from data (25%)
  • Access to data (22%)
  • The ability to integrate and manipulate data (19%)

When asked about the specific areas of their analytics programs where investment is needed most to fix these challenges, 53 percent indicated that people would be the primary area of investment, and 51 percent said they plan to invest more in tools. Additionally, predictive analytics (51 percent), Big Data (35 percent), dashboards (32 percent), reporting (31 percent), and data exploration and discovery (30 percent) were ranked as the top five areas for analytic investments. Along with 27 and 24 percent of respondents indicating that investment in advanced visualization tools and self-service analytic tools for business users, respectively, will rise, these findings indicate a shift in focus to non-traditional analytic interfaces to support data-driven growth strategies.

“Ideally, reporting would fall off everyone’s radar almost completely when it comes to investment because it’s mature and newer analytic approaches, such as data discovery, can provide significantly more value,” said Loren Johnson, Senior Analyst, Frost & Sullivan. “The clear priorities shown in this survey are data discovery and improved methods of gathering, manipulating and analyzing information from disparate sources.”

The survey also reveals that increased use of unstructured data or new data sources (27 percent of respondents) and a shortage of analytic professionals (25 percent of respondents) are predicted to be the two most likely developments to affect the analytic community in 2013.

“The survey effectively highlights several analytics-related growing pains the industry is presently dealing with as new data sources and a new emphasis on analytics continue to emerge,” said Lavastorm Analytics CEO Drew Rockwell. “Overall the survey points to the fact that data management is a tough problem and requires the right tools, processes, and skilled people to access, integrate, and analyze data.  While we see many people still using basic tools like Excel, there is a clear need for more powerful, yet easy to use, tools, such as the Lavastorm Analytics Platform and engine to tackle the problems of big data and data diversity.”

The survey pulled heavily from several analyst communities, including the Lavastorm Analytics LinkedIn group, a community of over 6,000 analytics professionals. For the full survey results, go to

For more information, and to download the free Public Edition of Lavastorm to see how it can improve data discovery, exploration, and traceability, visit