I’m flying back from New York where I presented “The Moneyball Approach to Big Data – Creating an Unfair Advantage” at the Wall Street Technology Association’s Hot Technologies Forum. Big Data is an area technologists are curious about, but I’m concerned there’s a “wait and see” approach. My job is to create value for my customers, and I’d hate for any of you to miss out on this opportunity.
Skepticism or “late adopter” mentality is understandable – if you want to forego a low-risk, high-reward opportunity and let your competition gain the advantage. Everyone is benefitting from Big Data in some form or another – most probably don’t even know it. But believe me, there are 100s of scenarios I could walk you through that could save your company millions of dollars, grow revenue double digit percentages, create more personalized products that delight your customers, automate real-time feedback on your brand, products, and competitor prices, create your own custom research that gives allows you to see trends before your competitors, and overall make you a much more agile business that scales with your new found vigor and growth.
What’s the secret to Big Data rewards? “Relevance”, “Access”, “Intelligence” and “Action”.
The most common definition I’ve seen for Big Data relates to the 3 Vs:
- Volume: it’s Big – terabytes and petabytes
- Variety: it comes in many forms – internal, external, structured and unstructured
- Velocity: it grows fast and changes quickly – making real-time capture and action hugely important
And this is always supported by numbers showing how gynormous Big Data is:
- The New York Stock Exchange creates 1 terabyte of data per day (InformationWeek)
- 10,000 payment card transactions are made every second around the world (American Banker)
- 30 billion pieces of content shared on FB every month (McKinsey)
- Twitter feeds generate 8 terabytes of data per day (InformationWeek)
Before you go out and buy more storage, consider what you want to do with it. If there are 200M tweets a day equaling 8 terabytes of data, but only 1000 of the tweets relate to your product or company, do you need to store and analyze all 8 terabytes every day? Although Big Data is big, don’t get caught up in all the massive numbers. Stick with what’s relevant to your business.
Forrester Analyst Brian Hopkins made a great point in his blog “Big Data will help shape your markets next big winner”, stating that Forrester estimates enterprises use only 5% of their available data. So the playing field is wide open for anyone to quickly take advantage of the 95% they’re currently ignoring.
But slow down there pardner. Sybase published Big Data, Big Opportunity that stated, “for the median fortune 1000 company… a 10% increase in usability of data translates to an increase of $2.01B in total revenue per year, [and that] a 10% increase in accessibility to data translates to an additional $65.67M in net income per year.” So don’t think you have to go from 5% to 100%. You really only need to go from 5% to 5.5%.
The internet plays a huge role in the rapid growth of Big Data, giving individuals the ability to post and upload immense amounts of pictures, text, video, and mobile data, and businesses the channel to offer access to customers and partners through web-based applications (think Oracle, salesforce.com, social media, procurement, logistics, publishers, and so on).
In reviewing other articles about Big Data, despite all the discussion around the massiveness of Big Data, I didn’t find a single article mentioning the difficulty of accessing the data spread throughout all these applications. This is a HUGE POINT to understand because you are SOL if you can’t access the data you need. If I told you I could guarantee any app or data you can see in your web browser (customer data, bank transactions, twitter, blogs, supply chain vendors, government data, competitor prices, etc.) could be automatically accessed and loaded into the app, database, or spreadsheet of your choice, how many game-changing Big Data projects could you think of? Point-in-time cash position understanding of billions of dollars across 300 banks? No problem. Monitor competitor pricing on 50,000 SKUs every day? Simple. Automate a twenty-three step manual invoicing process to get paid millions of dollars 2 days faster? Done. Real-time, automated access to the data you need is the key to success with Big Data. Lest you think this all fantasy, learn how Kapow Katalyst Application Integration Platform provides real-time access to Big Data.
There’s huge difference between “I have terabytes of data – videos, satellite pictures, social media conversations, and research reports” and “I know where Osama Bin Laden is”. It’s Data vs. Intelligence. Data is useless if you can’t extract meaningful intelligence from it. And the quality of your intelligence is most likely much less dependent on the volume than the relevance and ability to access it.
And the whole point of having relevant, accessible, intelligent Big Data is that it is actionable. Otherwise it’s just a recommendation or a strategy without execution What’s incredibly cool about Big Data and the web-based nature of so much of it is that just as easily as you can access anything you can see, you can just as easily transform the data, perform an operation on it, and automate a resulting action for you. Huh? Here’s an example. You know consumers and even your B2B purchasers research prices online and that loyalty to any one vendor has deteriorated as buyers have more pricing knowledge a search and mouse-click away. But you are smarter than your competitors because you’re already doing the extra 10%. So you set up automated monitoring of your competitor’s pricing, and when their price drops below yours your Big Data Integration Platform calculates the difference plus 10%, logs into your ecommerce site and adjusts your prices automatically, all within a few ticks of the clock.
And the beauty is that this can all be set up in hours, if not a few days, and you don’t have to bring in an army of developers or consultants to create custom code to do any of this.
So let the Big Data party begin. Kapow Software is here to help. To learn more about Big Data Solutions or to set up a Big Data Sales Consultation, click either link, because you’ve read this far and deserve it!
By: Rick Kawamura