Gartner released a report yesterday which shows that 75% of companies are either currently investing or are planning to invest in big data initiatives over the next two years.

According to Gartner, organizations are beginning to think about big data in a more sophisticated manner.

“‘As big data becomes the new normal, information and analytics leaders are shifting focus from hype to finding value,’ said Lisa Kart, research director at Gartner. ‘While the perennial challenge of understanding value remains, the practical challenges of skills, governance, funding, and return on investment come to the fore.’”

The report discusses the goals of so-called big-data projects:

“Organizations typically have multiple goals for big data initiatives, such as enhancing the customer experience, streamlining existing processes, achieving more targeted marketing and reducing costs. As in previous years, organizations are overwhelmingly targeting enhanced customer experience as the primary goal of big data projects (64%). Process efficiency and more-targeted marketing are now tied at 47%. As data breaches continue to make headlines, enhanced security capabilities saw the largest increase, from 15–23%.”

Using customer data to improve the customer experience? Gartner is polling our kind of people!

In fact, we dedicated a whole installment of the Ecommerce Quarterly to just this retail phenomenon: Retailers who are using data (specifically the offline kind) to improve the customer experience and business results.

In the report, we showed how Johnston & Murphy reduced bounce rate by 19% by rewarding their loyal shoppers, using in-store and online data. We also showed how DIRECTV saw a double-digit increase in conversion rate by using data from the USPS’s database of movers.

Get your free copy of the report today for details on the above and more, including industry benchmarks for the 2nd quarter of 2015.