Nearly eight in ten executives say they need better real-time analytics and improvement in converting data into actionable intelligence, according to a new report from IT industry association CompTIA. The news comes at a time when managing and leveraging big data has grown more complex, and it showcases an opportunity for analytics-minded managed services providers (MSPs) to fill the gap.

The report is CompTIA's second annual Big Data Insights and Opportunities study. This year's results also showed that six in ten respondents said they need to boost employee skill levels on the technical or business side of data management and analysis. Additionally, 66 percent of firms plan to invest in training for current employees, while 43 percent have an intent to hire new workers within a data-specific expertise.

CompTIA Market Intelligence Vice President Tim Herbert said in a prepared statement that as big data evolves, businesses of all sizes will analyze ways to leverage the most out of their data.

"As executives across the organization drive data initiatives, new roles may emerge that incorporate elements of IT, business analyst, researcher and behavioral economist," Herbert said.

The report also noted that nearly one in three channel partners are already providing big data application deployment or integration services, and, over the next 12 months, an additional 14 percent expect to offer big data consulting or advisory services.

How can MSPs take advantage of this expanding opportunity? The IT research firm said top strategies include investing in technical training; investigating partner programs and/or aligning with big data vendors; hiring staff with big data expertise; and looking for partnership opportunities.

To sum the report up with a simple sentence: If you're not offering big data-related services, you may be falling behind the rest of the pack -- but you probably still have time to catch up..

The research for the report was conducted in two parts. End user data was collected via an online survey in June 2013 among 500 U.S. business and IT executives responsible for technical or strategic decisions affecting data at their companies. Channel data was collected via an online survey in April 2013 of 500 executives at U.S. IT firms, with most having some level of involvement in the IT channel.