United Kingdom


  • Service: Advisory, Risk Consulting
  • Industry: Technology
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 26/06/2013

Businesses at risk from poorly harnessed big data, says KPMG 

  • businesses warned against lax attitude towards data analysis


  • call for development of ‘data scientists’ as organisations struggle to manage ‘Big Data’


  • days of traditional enterprise data warehouse are over



Addressing an audience of senior executives at the 5th annual Cloud World Forum in London, KPMG’s Head of Business Intelligence called on UK organisations to balance their quest for customer data with careful analysis, or risk misinterpreting information and doing more harm  to their business, than good.


Eddie Short’s comments came in an address in which he stated that the advent of Big Data may make decision-makers more certain, but not necessarily right.  He also suggested that some organisations are falling into the trap of believing that technology makes data analysis sufficiently easy for anyone to do.


Short said: “Since Big Data became the ‘must have’ business fashion accessory many organisations have lost their focus about the information that can make a real difference to their bottom line.  They tend to think that the amount they harvest, the speed they gather it and the range of information is important; but volume, velocity and variety don’t matter as much as employing better governance over the data collated, or understanding what is needed to grow the business or mitigate risk.  In other words, veracity and value matter more.


“Connecting ‘signals’ from across business units and geographies is increasingly important to identify patterns of customer behaviour as it enables better management of risk and opportunity.  However, what once took analysts months to do can now take minutes – but that doesn’t mean it is easy.  After all, data insights never emerge fully formed and the simple truth is that professional skills are needed to design analytic models, detect spurious correlations and avoid flawed conclusions.”


Short also told delegates to the @CloudWSeries Conference that, as organisations become more data-driven in their approach, the concept of a single enterprise data warehouse must be consigned to history. 


He concluded: “From a purely philosophical perspective, Big Data hasn’t changed the game, but what has happened is the rules of the game have been updated.  To keep on top of customer needs, the goal remains to move towards an information-centric operating model, but rather than rely on one source, companies have to monitor multiple metrics and respond accordingly.

“ If they don’t, poor quality data will remain at the heart of organisational decision-making and the only thing that will increase will be operating cost inefficiencies and customer experience issues.  The fact is that, as a concern of the Boardroom, nothing has changed.  The risks and opportunities remain – they have just been amplified by Big Data.”



Media enquiries:

Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or mike.petrook@kpmg.co.uk


Notes to Editors:

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  KPMG International provides no client services.



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