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BIG DATA for Business Intelligence – Big Value or Big Hype
So is BIG DATA simply a new hype to get everyone writing blogs or is there real value in the proposition?
In the context of business intelligence, the key question is “What business problem is BIG DATA going to solve?” Many companies have already spent millions building data warehouses, managing data, implementing sophisticated Business Intelligence and visualisation tools. Where successful, this investment has provided businesses with the intelligence they need to make better, faster and measured decisions by presenting insight from its data.
But what if businesses need more data to solve the same business challenges or issues and keep up with or ahead of the competition? How do I get more intimate with my customers, how do I reduce costs, how do I improve margins, gain customer satisfaction, increase market share, improve top line growth? These are the same questions business leaders have used BI for in the past; the difference in the future is that there will simply unimaginable quantities of data available and necessary to make those decisions. Examples include location based information, weather, transport flow, RFID, video, social media sentiment, web click streams, log files, financial trading, loyalty schemes, news feeds, telematics, call data records, machine to machine information and much, much more. All this on top of the data companies already analyse.
IDC’s research identified that in May 2010 there was the equivalent of 1,000 Exabytes of data on the planet. 1,000 Exabytes is 1 Zettabyte. By 2020, IDC predicts there will be over 35 Zettabytes of data (equivalent to a pile of DVDs stretching half way from Earth to Mars). Another mind-boggling fact is that unstructured data is predicated to grow by 80 times per year during this period.
Successful organisations of the future will be those that provide their decision makers with the information they need to tackle the same challenges and issues. The ability to harness, analyse and gain insight will be a significant competitive advantage, so finding a way to do so quickly is key. At the same time the capacity to govern and protect data will become increasingly difficult. And it’s not just about the capture and tools needed to provision information ¿ people will be a significant differentiator. Specialists who understand how to derive business value and insight from data in will be in demand.
So CIOs are likely to face an avalanche of demand from the business community, as data becomes a key enabler to improve performance. Not only the speed of the delivery of data will increase but also the sheer change of demands will potentially overwhelm as the business realise the value this data can provide.
So I suggest BIG DATA is far from hype and ultimately, if embraced will drive shareholder or stakeholder value. The key is finding a way to deliver this in a cost effective, scalable manner without being distracted from maintaining the existing operational backbone of the organisation.Tweet