Big data touches every industry…and every individual in creative and unique ways. This presents massive opportunity for business, and no longer resides solely in the realm of IT. Gartner predicts that by 2017, more than HALF of tech spending will occur outside of the IT department. Cloud is the enabler of this shift, and the time for big data analytics in the cloud is upon us.
How Big Data Impacts us Today
- Sports Events Dynamic Ticket Pricing: At least one-quarter of NFL teams used dynamic ticket pricing this season, the first time the league allowed it, and some of the clubs enjoyed significant, double-digit percentage increases on single-game ticket revenue as a result.
- Retailers like Starbucks and Lululemon collect data about their customers and profile purchasing behaviors. The data informs them about products, pricing, promotions, stock keeping and overall business strategy. While the primary business model for these companies is retail, first-party data informs many major decisions.
- Travelers have access to services like Hopper.com, which aggregates flight data across all airlines to predict when ticket prices are going to increase and decrease…and tells you when to buy.
- Manufacturing and Product companies are getting smarter about predicting new product success/failures in days not weeks.
Driving Innovation. Access to huge streams of information about customers, your own business, competition and market trends opens up enormous opportunity. Companies can use this data to innovate quickly, explore new markets and create new revenue opportunities through new products and services. Sharing this data with lines of business – folks who understand the revenue side of the business, not just technology – creates an environment to try new things, gain insight and test new models…quickly.
Think of your own business. If you are a start-up…you may be considered “innovative”. You have the ability to be lean, develop your idea and pivot quickly because you are primarily selling your idea before it is fully ready. You move rapidly, you make changes, but you don’t have a robust production environment, which means you can’t scale.
Conversely…you may be an established company with a fully baked line of products. You require a robust production environment to extract value from efficiencies…but that environment doesn’t work very well with innovation. It is why established companies don’t appear very innovative.
What you want is innovation and robust production environments, working together. You need a strategy for that.
Four Key Elements to Big Data Cloud Strategy
- Aggregate – Pull data from many sources (sensors, social media, 3rd party data providers, applications
- Manage – secure access to the data from relational and Hadoop, NoSQL-type environments…quickly
- Experiment – Tools to combine data, explore models with huge streams of data (data scientists play here)
- Analyze and Act – Business intelligence and data visualization to share with business leaders
We aren’t talking basic data management. We don’t live in a columnar world anymore. How can we make sense of the unstructured world of pictures, tweets, surveys, documents, electronic files and web pages? This is where Hadoop and NoSQL come into the picture. Keeping things simple, what is needed is a data management layer that can work with all types of data and storage technologies.
Sponsors of Big Data Cloud
- Line of Business needs a way to start making decisions without having to rely on IT’s involvement. They need to visualize information and patterns based on relevant and real-time data.
- Business Analysts will need to provide insight into structured and unstructured sources like Hadoop, NoSQL and others…effectively surfing through huge lakes of data with tools that don’t require Data Scientist degrees.
- IT Departments need to ensure rapid cloud-based deployments with security and compliance, and have the ability to support existing environments on-premises, mobile and Cloud.
- Data Scientists need a comprehensive lab for manipulating data, and access to specialized tools and open source technologies like Hadoop & Spark. These guys go way beyond the point and click business analysts…they write the statistical models that the analysts use when assembling the data together.
The key is finding an integrated cloud platform that can enable everything outlined above.
I lead a team that sells a Big Data Cloud platform that can do everything outlined above…on-prem and in the cloud…and both at the same time.
So, how innovative and how secure do you want to be?
Shift your view.