Big Data – Keeping An Eye On What Lies Ahead – Part 2
Last time at the BuzzStarter Insider, was elaborating how big data has emerged as a critical piece in today’s businesses. Companies from different segments and verticals are starting to embrace the value of what it has to offer. Organizations who have already implemented massive infrastructure and investment capital are leveraging the value of big data to get ahead of their competition with cost effective results. On the last part of this article, I would like to give you where I believe my perceptions and predictions are on where this going to be a tremendous help.
- Big data will be mission critical to every organization to compete in such a cut-throat economic landscape. Startups, small to medium sized will start to take advantage of big data to grab a piece of their market from bigger companies. Larger companies, although slower to move initially, will not be able to deny the value of utilizing big data as these smaller and medium sized competitors continue to chip away at their market lead. Newer companies nowadays are actually more data-driven when it comes to making decisions and innovating their products and offerings, being able to making real-time decisions.
- The value proposition of big data will vary across different industries. Some companies, depending on what their business is, will gain from this insight more than others. I predict that various business sectors will increase productivity when looking at different segments of this data, both current and historical and measuring them against an index that combines different quantitative measures. Obviously the value proposition will be different for different business verticals, for example innovation found by analyzing big data for an online retailer will be different from that of a healthcare provider. Regardless of such, companies has a lot to benefit in this.
- Data mining will be an important business function, for almost all companies. Departments will be creating data groups that works side by side with the various parts of the business, especially those involving marketing and sales. It is actually happening now as we speak! I remember when I started in web analytics back in 2004, nobody even knew what that was. Fast forward to today, a number of colleges and universities are now offering courses in this field.
- Big data will present a number of gains not only to these businesses I mention but also to customers (or consumers) as well. Imagine a company using big data in trying to understand how their customers engage their products, seeing what sells and what doesn’t, improving their product research efficiency by 30% and sales by 25%. Looking at the research done by using open source software makes it an open playing field for any aspiring developer to tap into a $10bn Android App store market, the benefits are there because big data reveals these important data points to the average person.
- With big data comes big storage and this will likely get bigger as more data is collected by data-driven companies. Imagine running a production website that gets 5 million visits a month at an average of 12 million pageviews? You would have to have redundant/load balanced webservers just to handle that type of traffic let alone collect all that log file data. It is estimated that an average US company nowadays stores somewhere around 800 terabytes of data and these numbers will keep on growing as demand for the business grows. The storage and virtualization industries will keep on innovating and improving, coming up with cost and energy efficient solutions as the technology scales and improves at the same time. These storage and virtualization companies will utilize different data segments in improving their products and big data is to thank for this.
- Have you heard about OfficeMax’s recent blunder with their mailers? Or the Data Broker that that was selling lists of rape victims, erectile dysfunction sufferers and alcoholics? With big data comes power and more and more scrutiny has been focused on these brokers in the past 3 years. As much as we do not like the government stepping into something that the private sector can handle, it cannot be denied that there has to be some form of legislation that will have to be provided about the privacy, intellectual property and security of such data. The with two news articles I mentioned, who should be penalized for such mistakes? The last thing you want is a mailer arriving in the mail with the words “this guy likes pink lollipops” written in bold letters for the mailman to see, having an embarrassing “Oh My God” moment. Access to data is critical to companies and government sectors but there has to be a responsibility attached to getting access to this data. These issues need to be addressed as people become more connected and sharing bits and pieces of everyone’s information is commonplace.
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