Comprehend business problems, before understanding big data

by Sharon Lobo    Jul 22, 2013

Big Data

Just so that they don’t lose the big data bus, many technology vendors today are creating a lot of hype around this emerging technology. While big data allegedly has the potential to change the way a business perceives and analyses its data, only a handful of businesses have taken the big data plunge. So why is the uptake of big data so low?

Understanding business problems

Understandably, as in case with any emerging technology, before its adoption businesses either evaluate or take a wait and watch approach. This might be true up to a certain extent, but the issue may just go beyond these, as Pallab Talukdar, CEO, Fujitsu India explains, “If you cannot frame a business problem that calls up on big data, then obviously the word big data has no meaning. Also the full impact or usage of big data has to be still understood by most businesses.”

Gagan Mehra, Chief Evangelist – Terracotta, Software AG too agrees with Pallab as he points out, “Businesses need to understand their challenges, competition, customers and other business aspects and focus on leveraging big data to address each of these aspects, rather than just going in for a big data solution straightaway.

It is clear, that businesses will need to have a clear understanding about their problems and then leverage big data to address it, than go the other way around. However, what about big data expertise?

Lack of expertise leads to lack of adoption

As with any technology, apart from the technology solution, you also require some level of in-house expertise to fully leverage the benefits of the technology. In case of big data most businesses lack both. As Sudev Muthya - President (IT) - CMS Info Systems points out, “There are two aspects to big data, do you have the data source and do you have the talent to manage it? And today, we have a shortage of both.”

Pallab adds, “One of the fastest jobs growing jobs in the world is that of a data scientist. As a data scientist can translate a business problem by framing it into the right question which can be solved by big data.

With the kind of benefits big data promises to deliver, it surely isn’t just a passé, however businesses will need to do more than implementing a big data solution to truly reap its benefits.