What's Driving Big Data Transformation within Enterprises?


The demand from organizations across the globe for better data to analyze and base decisions on is currently on the rise. To be able to meet this growing demand, enterprises are now on the lookout for effective strategies to leverage big data. The challenge lies in the fact that unstructured information - a significant component of Big Data - makes up 80% of the average enterprise’s data resources. And this comes in a variety of emerging forms. Business users need a platform that delivers all the capabilities on the Big Data value chain - from data discovery to insight harvesting to decision execution - on tap and affordably.

With an effective big data strategy, organizations will be able to gather the right information, process it and then extract valuable insight from it. This in itself is fast moving up the list of corporate priorities. Here are some of the key trends that will drive a change in what’s possible.

Emergence of powerful computing ‘in the cloud’

The availability of rapidly scalable storage and computing resources, without massive upfront investment in in-house infrastructure or staffing, has transformed the economic and technological possibilities for processing vast amounts of data. Advances in technologies, specifically scalable distributed computing and storage frameworks, have enabled data scientists to build models with massive data sets—utilizing entire populations instead of just sampling—to achieve new levels of accuracy.

Increasing pervasiveness of connectivity

The near ubiquity of networks closes the loop, giving individual users—whether they’re field engineers, shop-floor workers, or the CEO—instant access to information literally in the palm of their hands practically wherever they are.

It-savvy employees working outside it

IT skills used to be concentrated in the IT department, but not anymore. The children of Gen Y are now entering their thirties, and make up a sizable proportion of management roles in all lines of business. They’ve grown up with IT and demand more from it. And if the IT department can’t help, they’ll look elsewhere or do it themselves.

Growing volume of third-party data

Both public and enterprise social networks are producing a “fire hose” of real-time textual, image, video, and file data, complete with metadata about relationships, context, and connections. Many governments and supranational organizations (like the EU) are making data—including mapping, weather and economic data—freely available in the cloud.

Availability of small, low-cost sensors

Billions of tiny machine to machine (M2M) sensors are now sending a constant stream of data—for example, vehicles transmitting their location; smart meters sending details of energy use; or industrial equipment reporting its operational status. All this data is not only of direct use to operational processes (like billing customers), but also builds a wider picture that’s relevant to many other activities, from forecasting demand to designing new products.

Proliferation of geolocation data

Many experts estimate that around 80% of enterprise or transactional data has some kind of location-related component, such as an address or coordinates, which provides valuable context. Building this location data into big-data analysis can reveal correlations between different data sets, and produce unique insights.

To sum up, by implementing the right strategy to leverage big data, enterprises across sectors will gain a real competitive edge. From a long term perspective, they will experience incremental improvements in operational efficiency and improve customer and partner engagement.