Getting the real value out of big data

by Sohini Bagchi    Mar 12, 2013

big data cio

Big Data is undoubtedly turning out to be the next big technology for the enterprise. However, experts believe that most firms do not yet have the competency or maturity to address the value of big data so as to accelerate growth and innovation. To capitalize on Big Data assets, enterprises need to address a range of technology, staffing and process requirements.

A recent IDC report notes that globally, only 1 per cent of data has been analyzed to drive insights and innovation of what we call ‘big data’ today. The rest 99 per cent is yet to be explored by industries across segments. The figures are indeed shocking, as many organizations are already showing an interest in this technology. However, analysts believe that mere deployment of big data would not help organizations gain a competitive edge. Big data will gain momentum in the true sense only when companies learn to manage and analyze the technology and derive value from it.

The pain areas

The main obstacle to the growth of big data for companies is translating information into actionable intelligence, believes Mitesh Agarwal, CTO & Director - System Solution Consulting, Oracle India. “Enterprises across verticals are dealing with enormous quantities of unstructured data. They should now begin to realize that it is time to put this data to work,” he says.

Agarwal believes that CIOs must understand how best to leverage big data assets and correlate them with their existing structured data for the purpose of storing, analyzing and managing in order to derive real its business value.

However, herein lies the challenge. As Shrawan Kumar, General Manager - IT, Allahabad Bank points out that it often becomes difficult for companies to optimize their legacy infrastructure in order to accommodate this new and predictive business models. He believes that although data explosion is prompting businesses to build more sophisticated back-end and front-office analytical applications, other constraints such as cost and complexities as well as availability of skilled resources to facilitate the intricate data remains a challenge.

Unlocking the potential

If we take the size of the Indian market alone, Big Data is expected to touch $153.1 million by 2014, according to IDC. In a report released last year, the analyst firm notes that big data market opportunity stood at $58.4 million in 2011, growing at a CAGR of 37.8 per cent for the period 2011-2014.

In such a scenario, to unlock the opportunity of Big Data, CIOs need to demonstrate value, navigate expanding technology alternatives, re-create business processes, and ensure the availability of appropriately skilled staff, said Dan Vesset, Program Vice President, Business Analytics research at IDC.

Anirban Dey, Managing Director at SAP Labs India adds that implementation of big data should be more of a business decision and not merely an IT decision. As a result, every decision makers in the enterprise, and not only the CIO – should ask what exactly they are looking at to get the real value out of the data.

Big Data as a technology has tremendous growth potential. IDC predicts that once enterprises begin to understand and are prepared to manage big data with the right approach, it will help companies derive the actual business value, leading to widespread growth and innovation.

Tags: big data, IDC