From data pool to information stream

IN Big Data General — 28 May, 2013

So far, the discussion of Big Data has been about the data material per se. But now the focus turns more and more to the use of the data in predictive analyses. Peter Eck, Vice President Sales explains, as part of the run-up to the Second BIG DATA & ANALYTICS Congress, how valuable insights can be gained from Big Data.

businessman hold umbrella in server room

Reliable? Right? Wrong? CIOs fear to be left out in the rain with their data. © .shock - Fotolia.com

Suhas Bhide, managing director of IBM Global Business Services - Global Delivery, in India recently shared an interesting thought: Instead of imagining Big Data as a pool, he suggests seeing it as a flowing stream. On the one hand is the pool basin with its limited capacity to hold liquid. The old is mixed with the new there – a murky "brew" that doesn't promise much transparency. On the other hand is the stream in continuous change. We don't drink every single drop, but we dip into the entirety of it.  

 How reliable is Big Data?

Suhas calls this approach "smarter analytics" and by that he means what we think of as predictive analytics. He cites a study (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and IBM Institute for Business Value) that finds that very successful companies use five times as much Big Data Analytics as the less successful ones. Along with the data volume and data diversity as well as the needed velocity, the reliability of the material is also a challenge. Suhas says that only one fifth of the data will be reliable in 2015.

 The German magazine "Computer Week" ("Computerwoche") recently put it bluntly, stating that according to Garnter, "big firms are foundering on Big Data". "More and more smart mobile devices and more bandwidth on the mobile Internet and on the cabled Internet is all leading to a flood of data whose complexity, diversity and mutability are becoming real challenges for companies. Business needs quick and well founded analyses for fast and well-thought out decisions. According to Gartner, most companies are ill-prepared for that. 85 percent of the 500 biggest companies by sales worldwide, including Deutsche Telekom, Nestlé, and Microsoft are not going to be able to make effective use of these data volumes," claims the report.

 Big Data is an absolute "must" in commerce

But it would be a bad idea for them to just leave the data to lie there. That was the conclusion of an Aberdeen Group study, which showed that more than half of all marketing leaders (reply rate of nine percent to marketing campaigns, an increase of the customer retention rate by 15 percent in comparison to the previous year) use external sources to gain information about their customers. They more commonly use data from their direct communication with customers and information from social media.

 Information stream instead of data pool: that has been Blue Yonder's position from the very start. When large retail companies like OTTO and SportScheck are able to use powerful software to help them find out in real time what data is relevant for their forecasts, they gain valuable insights for sales, marketing and procurement. Thus, Big Data provides customized capabilities for effectively running companies. You can find out about how our approach affects things like sales planning and word-of-mouth marketing, at the Second BIG DATA & ANALYTICS Congress  on June 5th and 6th in Frankfurt, Germany. We hope to see you there! 

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