Most Big Data Projects Fail to Some Extent

According to Resulticks, only 21 percent of marketers say their big data software delivers on all its big data promises. About 52 percent of surveyed respondents believe big data projects  deliver “some” of what vendors promise.

That is not a new story, for virtually any type of enterprise computing initiatives. Few big new initiatives actually succeed on the level originally promised. Most likely fail outright.

According to some studies, enterprise “digital transformation” success rates have been as low as 13 percent.

That reflects the larger story that major investments in new technology platforms have tended to lag in producing measurable gains in productivity, sometimes for a decade or more.

That seems to be the broader pattern for some systemically-important technologies such as electricity, steam power, internal combustion engines and other general purpose technologies.

That also has tended to be the trend when enterprises have invested heavily in new computing technologies. There are many theories about “why” the pattern exists. Some think the problem is that we cannot measure the changes.

That is unsatisfying, so many believe the issue is that technology platforms deliver measurable advantages only after business practices are reimagined and refashioned to take advantage of the new technology. Time after time, we have found that big new investments in new technology do not produce measurable results for a decade or even more.

If that was routinely expected, nobody would make the investments. So the expectation is that the payoff will come within three years. Measurable value creation takes much longer, generally speaking.  


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