Global enterprises are aware of the coming of so-called Big Data, or the trillions of bytes of electronic data flowing through the Cloud and Internet.
But they don't have much of an idea how to deal with it or have the right people to manage it, a new survey of 550 business executives in 18 countries by solutions provider Avanade in Seattle found.
Companies know they have to deal with Big Data, said Avanade VP Steve Palmer in an interview, But they can't find enough people with the right skills.
The Avanade survey has many of the same findings as those of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and others in recent months, which illustrates that companies aren't yet ready to handle data from all over, including employees who bring their own devices to work and tap into company data.
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), the world's biggest software company, is a minority shareholder of Avanade.
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The survey found 84 percent of respondents said using Bug data improves business decisions, with 73 percent reporting they've used it to boost revenue by growing existing revenue streams or creating new ones.
The survey also found gold for IT companies: 75 percent of respondents said they planned to make new investments in technology products over the next 12 months.
They may also need to do more hiring: 85 percent of respondents reported obstacles in managing data and security, including insufficient trained personnel.
Avanade's Palmer, in charge of business information, said the survey showed enterprises appreciate the financial benefits of Big Data but haven't prepared enough for it.
The differences are industry by industry, he said.
Avanade's poll was conducted by Wakefield Research during April.
Microsoft shares closed Monday at $28.55, up a dime.