Talking to some C-level executives and BI experts across the USA, it struck me how Big Data is seen as a great opportunity, but also met with quite a bit of hesitance. “I love it in concept, but I’m not sure it’s for us, right now”. For years, companies have been trying to become better at Business Intelligence, make better use of their internal data, create better insights to base their decisions or provide more people with ‘self-serve’ access to data. In private, off the record, IT executives admit they’ve been struggling at it. Business Intelligence has ended up on the wish-list between the many important priorities of IT, the budget pressure, the demands to address mobile, virtualize the datacenters and desktops, move to the cloud, address social media, necessary migrations and upgrades, implement voip and video conferencing, increase security, think about Bring-your-own device etc. etc. And these are just the technology related innovations. I’m not even talking about the great industry transformations that are happening in finance, healthcare, education etc., each with their own impact on systems and information. Perhaps for some companies, it’s a matter of walk before trying to run. First get better at using existing, internal, low-volume, fairly structured data sources before trying to tap into the fire-hose that is big data. Current business BI users, who love a simple report or dashboard, aren’t necessarily looking to give up those tools, even though Big Data may promise more and better insights. And while one view is it can’t hurt to just start a pilot of some sort with big data, some true BI experts I spoke to shivered at the thought of collecting and storing terabytes of data without a proper plan. They know: once the business gets hooked on something, it’s hard or impossible to touch it, to redesign it, to revisit the model. For example, once the marketing team has seen sentiment tracking linked to sales figures, that pilot system is there to stay. One CIO even regretted starting a pilot at all, because after the pilot, everyone quickly retreated into familiar territory, instead of embracing the bigger change that is still ahead. So, while the concept and insights of Big Data are increasingly clear, the actual organizational change that comes with it, may keep companies from effectively using it for quite some time. Agree?