Big Data and Business Value Evolution
Is it safe to say that data is the heart of your business today?
This is the age of Big Data. Information is abundant in and around large organizations. Now, more than ever, organizations that harness the power of this data are best positioned for success.
Can an organization compete long term without leveraging data? Compared to their competitors that are using data to connect, analyze, and apply it to their business strategy? Not likely. What are the challenges and opportunities that businesses face in today’s data-driven environments? How can we turn data into value?
While there are differing opinions about the definition of Big Data, there are two universal characteristics: the sheer Volumes of data we’re storing, and the ever-increasing Velocity at which data is being created. More data has been generated worldwide within the past 2 years than in the history of mankind. And the amount of data we produce is expected to double every two years through 2021. Now is the time to effectively harness and utilize this avalanche of data to secure a competitive advantage. Where is all this data coming from?
Incredible amounts of data are continuously generated by an ever-increasing number of sources: monitors, sensors, applications and social media platforms. This ever-increasing flow of data will not subside, but continue to gain in velocity as more connected devices and systems become available. Moore’s Law accurately predicted the growth in computing power since the dawn of the microprocessor, and a similar growth trajectory is upon is in the age of Big Data. Advances in technology result in faster, more powerful devices – but it also results in devices that capture more forms and amounts of data. Smartphones, smart sensors, smart meters, smart appliances, smart cars, smart ‘digital’ hospitals – are all producing enormous streams of data every millisecond.
There’s an App for that … data collection
The amount of behavioral data – what we do, when we do it, and who we do it with – is increasing with every new device and app we use. Apps are tracking users every move – patterns in our behaviors for entertainment, shopping, health, athletics, etc. are being continuously recorded. Adding to this collection of behavioral information is data from social media. People share and discuss every aspect of their lives, and the trove of data collected from each like, post, share, tweet, and pin provides unparalleled insights into user behavior.
What can data scientists do with all this data (and what’s in it for you)?
How will all this data be analyzed? Why and how is this important to your businesses? For any organization that strives for future growth and success, it’s critical that they implement a data-driven approach to gain and maintain a competitive advantage now, and into the future. On the flip side, delaying the implementation of analytics in your business can put you behind your competitors that are preparing to do so (or have already done so). In this age of Big Data, our ability to capture the flow of data, analyze it at scale, and take meaningful action in real-time will mean overall success or failure.
A major retailer adjusts pricing in near-real time on tens of millions of products, based on inventory and demand, maximizing profits.
A hospital is monitoring heartbeat and breathing patterns in at-risk premature babies, using analytics to predict infections 24 hours before symptoms arise.
A supermarket chain collects and analyzes data from smart refrigeration equipment to predict maintenance needs, thus avoiding product spoilage and reducing energy costs.
A call center employee who helps customers from AI driven chatbox and makes sale.
What issues exist with companies turning to Big Data solutions? Taking advantage of analytics, cloud technologies, and data integration are key to any business making the switch to becoming more data-driven. However, traditional integration methods do not scale to meet complex, real-time data analysis needs. Legacy technology is simply incapable of scaling and meeting the analytic demands of today. And unfortunately, no single platform exists that can meet every workload needed to provide value from Big Data.
Double Check Consulting Solutions:
What do we do to overcome challenges and provide meaningful solutions? The new competitive edge in business lays in the effective use of this seemingly overwhelming, ever increasing data. Using advanced analytics to pinpoint meaningful insights and patterns in near real-time will prompt ever improving business actions, and deliver true value-based decision making. Some of it depends upon how you use data scientist for a given use case. For example, Data scientists are used to working with dirty data and dealing with the noise. In fraud detection applications, you don’t clean the data at all. The goal is to find anomalies in the information that point to suspicious transactions and activities. Currently, at least 30% of email is not worthless, harmful spam to your infrastructure. The industry is struggling how to contain it, but, Double Check Consulting knows how to provide predictive and prescriptive solutions for you in this area.
Use of Hadoop, MapReduce and NoSQL technologies helps to reduce IT costs and support new services for insurance agencies that provide proposed rates to consumers based on a variety of customized parameters. This goes to show that currently, the emphasis is on technology. The current explosion of interest in analytics, (big) data and cloud computing is moving the conversation forward at a stunning pace. It’s difficult to get away from analytics and discussions of data. Unfortunately, it’s even more difficult to get a sense of the scope and domain of analytics. Hence it is difficult to realize that Relational Data is still really important, and there is a need to mix it to Hadoop environments. The future is all about doing data analytics — it’s not about the software. So the real challenge is to create an environment where we can change our mind. But, this is easier said than done! Most companies do not realize moving part of Big Data and jump into it. Most are working on Fast Data or new techniques to process and transform raw information considerably faster than ever before, or Big Analytics (turning information into knowledge using a combination of existing and new approaches). Double Check Consulting realizes that the tools of Big Analytics are just tools by themselves. Big Data initiatives will keep failing until we realize what is needed is unleashing deep insights from deriving a particular type of result that is actually useful in a business context. Furthermore, insights must also be connected to specific objectives in order to have high levels of impact.
Double Check Consulting helps you meet all those Business Objectives.