Embrace 'Big Data' Now or Fall Behind the Competition, Analyst Warns
By Mark Brunelli, SearchDataManagement, June 22, 2012
BOSTON -- Companies that fail to take advantage of the opportunities presented by "big data" management and analytics technologies can expect to fall behind the competition and possibly go out of business altogether, according to one IT industry analyst who spoke Tuesday at the Talend Connect conference.
The world is just getting started with big data technologies like Hadoop and MapReduce, and several obstacles – such as a dearth of skills and old-fashioned thinking about data -- continue to stand in the way of their adoption, said Jeff Kelly, a principal research contributor at Wikibon.org and a contributing editor at SiliconANGLE.
Big data is about looking forward, making predictions and taking action.
Jeff Kelly, principal research contributor, Wikibon.org
But, the analyst continued, companies that embrace the concept now are the ones who will lead the way in the not-too-distant future when entry barriers are not so high. Companies that exploit big data will gain the ability to make more informed decisions about the future and will ultimately bring in more money than those that do not.
"We have been doing research around big data for a couple of years [and] have come to the conclusion that big data is now the definitive source of competitive advantage across all industries," said Kelly, who is also a former SearchDataManagement.com reporter. "While I realize that is a pretty sweeping statement, there really aren't any industries that we can think of that aren't going to be impacted by big data."
The phrase "big data" is most often used to refer to the massive amounts of both structured and unstructured information being generated by machines, social media sites and mobile devices today. The phrase is also used to refer to the storage, management and analytical technologies used to draw valuable business insights from such information. Some of the more well-known big data management technologies include the Apache Hadoop Distributed File System, MapReduce, Hive, Pig and Mahout.
The benefits of becoming data-driven
Kelly was just one of several speakers at the Talend Connect conference who spoke about what it will take for businesses to become more data-driven in their decision making processes. Another was Tony Fraser, a partner and technology partner with Neo@Ogilvy, the performance marketing arm of Ogilvy & Mather, a large public relations and advertising firm.
"We basically do digital advertising, across everything that you can possibly imagine," Fraser said.
Speaking to the crowd, Fraser offered examples of how data-driven decision making has helped his company achieve success. In one example, the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas hired Neo@Ogilvy to help it attract more customers. Fraser's company accomplished this by first looking at all the positive things that customers had to say about Paris on social media and travel sites.Read entire article here.
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