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Top Trends Driving Big Data

by Sunil Jose, Managing Director, Teradata India September-2015

Teradata India is the Indian arm of Teradata Corporation (NYSE: TDC) which is dedicated to offering Big Data Analytics and marketing applications. Born in 1979 in California, Teradata Corporation has a market cap of $5.34 biillion.

Big Data is not just about data volumes anymore, it could in fact be the key difference that could make or break a business. It could be the game changer for organizations and the key differentiator between market leadership and business failure. It could provide rich insights to organizations, customers and key markets. The trends emerging in India and across the world are encouraging, to say the least for the Big Data industry. Below mentioned are the six Big Data trends that are likely to set the tone for the industry in the second half of 2015:

1) The Business Value of Connection Analytics: Connection analytics analyses individual behavior and associations between these individuals and groups. This information is critical to businesses who are looking to further promote their products and services to specific target audiences. We have also been witnessing a growing trend of users resorting to social media to highlight specific customer care issues. Even though social media analysis isn't all that new, what is really important is the understanding and analysis of consumer behavior on such key platforms - what are the communication channels, who are consumers really talking to and what are they talking about. The rising complexity of connections and the exponential growth of users, has led to the problem of scale, leading to difficulty in the ability to process or interpret results. The explosion of digital data has in fact further added to this problem; however, the recent technological advances are trying to catch up and ride the wave.

2) The Growth of the 'Discovery Zone': Customers continue to interact with each other via social media platforms. There is a growing need for the companies' to not only track these conversations, but also understand the nitty-gritties of how customers behave online. Advanced analytics and the speed of data access could be a game changer for businesses in 2015. The latter would ensure that companies retain their competitive advantage that comes from processing real-time information. The need for this is expected to grow at a stable pace in India and across the world, moving towards a new data research and development hub of analytics called the 'discovery zone'.

3) Making Big Data Accessible: It is important to initially establish the investment priorities, and then it will not be too hard to find software and analytics vendors who can develop applications and algorithmic models to address them. Most of these packages would be cost-effective, easier and faster to install than when built internally. Planning efforts should balance the need for affordability and speed with the need for a mix of data and modeling approaches that reflect business realities.

However, a majority of the organizations are still facing the issue of 'lack of accessibility' to Big Data. Most of the companies have only been dumping huge chunks of data into the systems; however, the system access in these cases is very low. Lack of accessibility being the key issue here, it becomes extremely important for companies to have both; a business driver and a business sponsor for new analytics to ensure that this question of accessibility is addressed.

4) More Efficient, Automated Data Management & Processing: Organizations usually use large repositories of structured and unstructured data, called Data Lakes. It is important to ensure that this data lake is not seen as a dumping ground for data, or else it might become a data swamp. Organizations will look to gain further efficiencies by re-designing and re-building data ingestion and integration tasks and by removing unnecessary overhead costs of data replication and processes. Organizations are also increasingly looking to find data solutions that would allow for intelligent storing and processing of data across multiple media on a single platform, completely eliminating the need for human intervention.

5) Gaining Customer Insights via Mobile Apps: Mobile technology and its usage continues to be a growing trend in information technology across India and worldwide. It presents a large chunk of underutilized source of data for insights, which could be collected by organizations via mobile apps. This could in fact help organizations to track individual behaviors and purchasing patterns of customers. Organizations can then rapidly analyze this data to understand if the app is providing an effective solution or not, they can then feed this back into the development process.

Most of this individual information is not easily available on the web and it is extremely difficult to understand who is really behind the computer. Mobile trend is set to grow in the future as well as businesses realize the kind of rich customer insights that could be culled out from apps.

6) Focus on Frontline Engagement: A lot of businesses have been resorting to outsourcing staff instead of hiring and training its internal employees to access and analyze data. This in turn will push the growth and rise of analytics consultancies. The focus for organizations would be increasingly on tools and technologies that could help them explore new functional capabilities of Big Data analytics.

It is also important to create analytics models that frontline managers can understand in order to engage the organization. These models could be linked to easy-to-use decision-support tools and to processes that could allow managers to apply their own experience and judgments to the outputs of models.