Big Data: Analytical and Operational Value Central to Competitive Advantage

By July 11, 2013
big data

In order to take better decisions faster, companies should be capitalising on the insights and recommendations for action which the power of Big Data offers.

Big Data goes far beyond consolidating the storage of huge quantities of structured or unstructured data, and is really all about leveraging the true value of the information which every company is holding. However, according to a study from International Data Corporation (IDC)which came out last December, only 1% of this data is currently being analysed. Will this situation have to change? It would seem so, judgingby the results of amore recent study from GigaOM Pro, which shows that the real competitive advantage a company can derive from the Cloud and from Big Data resides in the insights, reliable recommendations and operational information that these approaches can provide.

Operational value of Big Data analytics

The report underlines that companies’ Big Data strategy needs to go beyond the exploration and discovery of data if it is to achieve real operational value, based on insights and actionable recommendations. The 2012 US presidential campaign is a good example of this. While Barack Obama’s opponents were busy sifting profile data, his team had already swung into action, calling on supporters to win over their immediate circle of contacts via the social networks. Instead of relying on personal judgement, Democrat campaign supporters were provided with data and recommendations on their target groups to give them a better steer on the topics they should raise with those people. Applied to the business world, Big Data technologies ought to be able to help companies decide the right moment to bring out a product, identify the target market and, perhaps most important, formulate arguments that will persuade people to buy.

IAAS, SAAS and PAAS about to give way to Insight as a Service?

Although every company claims to be different in terms of its products and approach, the underlying operational processes are likely to demand analyses which can be reproduced and used across many industries. Irrespective of the sector, Big Data technologies can build historical models and apply predictive algorithms so as to enable optimisation of revenue and bring about improvements to internal financial structures. “Instead of recruiting data scientists, a company would do better to exploit this data intelligence,” argues Benjamin Woo, Managing Director at tech strategy consultancy Neuralytix, Inc, who authored the report. In the same way as a car’s onboard computer indicates petrol consumption in real time, thus enabling the driver to adjust the way s/he is driving, a company needs a reliable overview in order to make fact-based decisions, optimise its revenues and expenditure, and find new business opportunities.

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