Leverage Big Data or Go Out of Business

I’m sitting in the Taiwan airport on my way to Guangzhou. We just completed the Informatica World Tour in Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan, and I’ve had the opportunity to deliver the keynote presentation, Maximize Your Return on Big Data.

All of our audiences exceeded our expectations. We had 50% more attendees than planned. Why? Big data. It is a hot topic and everyone is trying to determine how to leverage big data in their enterprise to get a competitive advantage. At the event, I made the point – if you’re not trying to understand how to leverage big data in your enterprise, your successor will. Kitty Fok, the IDC China Country Manager, spoke after me. Her consistent comment was – “if your company isn’t looking to leverage big data, you will be out of business.”

In the history of our IT careers, never has there been such a profound technology shift. Going from platforms such as mainframes to minis to client-server, to n-tier architecture changed the economics of computing. Implementing apps such as CRM and ERP automated transaction systems that were once hand-coded, but don’t provide a competitive advantage are a “must have,” but do not drive differentiation. The advent of big data will revolutionize how we think about IT and data.

Why is big data important?

  • We can now analyze and predict events and information like never before.
  • I can use social data to… (remember customers are talking about you online)
    • Get immediate feedback on products and services
    • Understand the current and trending state of my brand
    • Get an understanding of the competitive landscape
    • Learn about service outages and issues
    • I can use geo-location data (what’s on your phone) to combine with social data to make immediate offers to you based on your location (that’s why Facebook bought Instagram)
  • I can use machine data to…
    • Analyze test data to predict and understand failures cheaper and faster than ever before
    • Understand genomic information
    • Understand customer buying patterns
    • I can create new and better predictive pricing models by combining online traffic behaviors, purchasing patterns, weather patterns, etc

I go back to what I said before… if you’re not doing it, your successor will. I encourage everyone to look at how to leverage big data to reshape the future.

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