A new survey by LogLogic, which included responses from 207 company directors, found there are still some misconceptions about big data. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they were somewhat or very concerned about it, and 38 percent still don't have a clear understanding of what it is. Another 72 percent said they lack the tools to manage data for their existing and future cloud environments.

"The results show significant inconsistencies in practice," said Bob West, founder and CEO of Echelon One. "Namely, while big data, cloud needs and compliance requirements are clearly major concerns, the majority of companies are not prepared to deal with any of them adequately. It's fascinating to see the rift, and the overwhelming percentage of companies surveyed are not prepared to manage big data properly, monitor cloud environments effectively, or report network and device activities properly."

West said these companies are leaving themselves open to attacks by making business decisions that are not completely informed. They are also risking fines from federal agencies for not complying with requirements.

A report by the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara said using cloud computing solutions to address big data can be a successful approach for companies, as the cloud increases scalability and improves overall data management.