How European Organizations Increase Their Innovation Speed with Smart Data Applications

20 Sep, 2017
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For the third consecutive year, GoDataDriven collaborated with Big Data Expo to conduct Big Data Survey. Over 800 professionals participated in this third edition of Big Data Survey and shared their insights and experiences on topics like data strategy, implementing data science, technology, cloud, gdpr, and how to become attractive as an employer. In this article we share some of the key highlights of the results. The full report is available for download here.

What Makes a Data Strategy Successful?

As in the first two editions of Big Data Survey, vision (87%) remains the most important aspect of a successful Big Data strategy, followed by talent (54%) and, last year’s number two, support from the management (50%).

Improving data quality is the largest challenge when it comes to implementing data infrastructure, followed by making data available and implementing data governance.

Our management has a clear vision of the type of data products our organization needs to realize. We are constantly working to collect more data that supports us in executing our Big Data Strategy”, says Erik van Osenbruggen, Operational Manager at Promovendum/CAK Group.

Although 9 out of every 10 organizations see lots of potential with data, data are primarily applied in dashboards and not so much to develop predictive models. The number of websites that is personalized in real-time using artificial intelligence is still very limited.

Becoming Data-Driven is all about People

Organizations that are looking to optimize the results from data by becoming data driven, indicate building up knowledge of big data and data science as the biggest challenge (47%), followed by making data available for experiments (45%).

“Essentially, becoming a data driven organization is about a specific mindset.
Applications are important, but it is the purpose that counts. The management should always put the customer first. It is not about showing what we know, but using data to add value for our clients,” says Sander van Veen, Marketing Manager Autotrack at Persgroep.


One of the topics in Big Data Survey was GDPR, the European legislation that takes effect in May 2018. It is important for organizations to start preparing for GDPR. In reality, most organizations are not ready for GDPR. A large part of all participants (43%) has not even familiarized themselves with the new regulations. Only 28% claims to be prepared for GDPR.


Utilities organizations and financial services organizations tend to be frontrunners when it comes to becoming data driven organizations. Their challenges, as well as the way they leverage data are more advanced than those of organizations in other industries. It is these organizations that are most active in recruiting and skill building, where others are still busy making data available and seeking support from management.


The opinion on the use of cloud technology varies. Storing data in the cloud is just as safe as storing data locally, according to 47% of all participants. Microsoft Azure (28%) is the most used cloud provider, but the differences with the main competition is small. Amazon Webservices is used by 24%, Google Cloud Platform by 22%. Amazon Webservices Services does have the broadest adoption, large enterprises mostly use Azure,
retailers and media companies prefer Google Cloud. Over half of the surveyed organizations choose to work with more than one cloud provider.

Technology Adoption

There is a large difference between the use of technology within large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees and other organizations. Python, R, Spark, Hadoop, and other big data and data science technologies see a stronger adoption within enterprise organizations (85% versus 59%).

Looking at all the different aspects, it seems that large enterprises have a competitive edge over smaller organizations when it comes to being data driven. The end report zooms in on this in more detail.

“For us, predictive maintenance is the future. We aim to be frontrunners in this area. Predictive maintenance allows for improved installation availability, reduced energy consumption and lowered CO2 exhaust. Last, but certainly not least, it enables our customers to operate more cost efficiently”, says Ralph van den Heuvel, Group Leader Pulse at Strukton Group.

Recruitment in 2017: Company Car or Freedom to Experiment?

How to attract data scientists? Is it a company car, salary, freedom to experiment, a generous training budget, or little travel time?

Big Data Survey 2017 definitely dethrones the company car as ultimate benefit. Of all eight researched benefits, the gas guzzler is the least appealing. The most important benefit? Freedom to experiment, followed by the level of knowledge of co-workers and flexible working hours.

Receive the Full Report?

The full Big Data Survey report is available for download now. The report contains in-depth analysis and many graphs and tables. Download the report on


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