Big Data: A Guide to Where You Should Be, Even If You Don’t Know Where You Are

by Craig Beattie,  Bill Fearnley, Jr,  Bob Meara, February 18, 2013
Industry Trends


Celent has defined five tiers of data capability: Spectator, Experimenter, Practitioner, Innovator, and Scientist. Using these tiers, we suggest that an organization can understand where it is in terms of Big Data capability, but perhaps more importantly where it should be.

There is a great deal of rhetoric and hype surrounding Big Data. It can be tough for financial services firms to separate the noise from the value. There are many descriptions of Big Data available and coverage of up and coming vendors in this space, but how does an organization know where to invest, and how much is enough to get the benefits?

In Big Data: A Guide to Where You Should Be, Celent provides a simple set of tools and steps to help any organization better understand Big Data, better understand their existing capabilities, and get to the level of capability they want and need.

“Big Data may be one of the most hyped and ill-defined topics in IT today,” says Bob Meara, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and coauthor of the report. “There is no shortage of remarkable assertions around the power of Big Data to transform the enterprise.”

“Celent does not advocate that all companies should aspire to be at the bleeding edge of big data,” says Craig Beattie, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and coauthor of the report. “The goal of this report is to help financial institutions understand what their level of investment should be strategically, and how to get there.”

“Whatever level of capability an organization has now, Celent believes that there is an achievable, affordable route for that organization to start experimenting with more powerful tools and technology, to derive more value from information,“ says Bill Fearnley, Jr., Senior Analyst with Celent’s Securities & Investments Group and coauthor of the report.

This 28-page report contains five figures and eight tables.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary





A Brief Introduction to Big Data



Big Data Ecosystem


Big Data: Where Are You Today?


Big Data: Where Should You Be?



A Tale of Two Financial Services Institutions


Big Data: Next Steps



Moving on from Spectator



Beyond Practitioner




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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