To get the most out of big data programs, early adopters have found success through a mix of nimble analytic practices and tried-and-true business-first planning, according to a new report from Aberdeen Research.

In “Data Management for BI: Getting Accurate Decisions from Big Data,” Aberdeen analyst Nathaniel Rowe assessed survey results from 125 organizations at some stage in their big data programs. Rowe says that customer analytics has become “the driving force behind big data developments,” so it’s of little surprise that many of the “best-in-class” enterprises in the report came from the fields of retail and telecommunications. Rowe also said specific use cases are popping up as having big, quick returns, like fraud detection in financial services or the analysis of sensor data in utilities.

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