Australia might be at the end of the mining boom, but it’s just kicking off the data mining boom. Big data is going to be a truly hot topic in 2014, with IDC predicting that spend on big data technologies worldwide will grow by 30 per cent over the next year. Interest in big data, and other what IDC calls “third-platform technologies” such as cloud, mobile, and social networking, will account for 89 per cent of the growth that will see total global IT spend top $2.1 trillion in 2014.
What’s most exciting about big data is that many organizations are not even coming close to utilizing data to its fullest extent. As we move into 2014 big data is going to only grow as an opportunity for competitive advantage, but it first must address five key challenges that has been holding back its growth.
#1 Big data will need to overcome the data challenges of business units outside of IT – the current idea that big data is solely the responsibility of the IT teams.
#2 Big data will mandate that IT becomes part of all business units. Aside from enabling an organizations’ business units to access data, in 2014 we will see big data become a core part of those business unit’s functions, and as a result require IT staff of their own.
#3 Big data will need to start justifying itself via a business case – Most organizations are collecting data right now, but they’re not necessarily doing enough with it to articulate the value around it.
#4 Big data has three unique selling points – volume, velocity, and variety. These three ‘V’s can be linked to a fourth – value, which occurs when business value is linked into each of the other ‘V’s. In other words, in 2014 the business case for big data will involve the collection of data on customer’s devices, preferences, activities, locations, and interests, and this data will be analyzed in real time to ensure a positive customer experience. The velocity is critical because the value of information decreases sharply a short period after it’s gathered. It’s impossible to make an effective business case for big data without meeting each of these selling points, so much of the focus in 2014 for businesses needs to be on linking the three ‘V’s to find value for the organization.
#5 Big data will need to do more than manage social media – A lot of the energy around big data in 2013 and years past has been around social media; gathering interactions and using it to better target customers with tailored content. But there is much more to be done. How many retailers are making use of data gathering to understand how customers are moving through their isles, for instance?
This opinion piece, originally published at the CEBIT Australia website, was written by Managing Director of Infoready Tristan Sternson.
Exist team will be at CEBIT Sydney Australia this year. In addition, we’ll be organizing a Big Data meetup over at Perth to talk about our experience in implementing Hadoop. Contact us for information about our Big Data solutions and services.