2012 has been predicted as year of big data. However so far 2012 the research has immensely concentrated on addressing the 4 V's (Velocity, Variety, Volume and Value) of big data and how to handle them. Within the space of my knowledge there is not much progress in terms of using that data in business perspective to either gain competitive advantage or improve business processes. Would be interesting if you can share any such instances in the comments for the benefit of the audience and mine.
Is Big Data Competitive Enough?
If even someone says that there is an instance where big data has made a difference, the argument would be how realistic is it? Has there been any validation of the analytics that come out of big data. Needless to say most of the data that is big is still a waste as it was before. You would probably find 1% to 5% (not backed up by any facts) that is valuable enough to put it to use, to better the business processes and like.
Organizations so far from years have tweaked and compromised processes, customer journeys, reduced prices to gain competitive advantage and many more shortcuts to address tactical needs of customers. All such compromises and tweaks will be part of your big data analytics and will skew the predictions. Hence big data will have two paths, it can either give you the competitive edge with sound analytics or wipe you out of competition with skewed analytics should you go with what analytics says, without validation. With skills shortage on statistical analysis or assessing the validity of the data, this becomes even bigger a challenge to get right analytics and gain right results.
Big Data Software Buzz
The definition of big data have so far concentrated on enhancing the ability to crunch data addressing and handling the 4 V's of data. However for an end customer that is not what big data is about. It is about how accurately to get those finer stats to serve customer better. That will probably be the next step where we will see big data software being matured for rest of the year. The instances of TeraData acquisition of eCircle, IBM acquisition of TeaLeaf and others prove to be moving towards that direction as early birds syncing big data with enterprise marketing, digital media, campaigns, customer experience and more.
Decision Making Alone Makes It Big
The data whether structured or unstructured crunched and analyzed with an ability for organizations to be able to make decisions and implement the analytics feedback alone, for the benefit of customers makes big data worthwhile and "Big". We probably have scratched a tip of iceberg so far and will be interesting to see a day when domain specific customized big data solutions are on offer enabling decision making in say retail or insurance or financial and other sectors with tools built around such businesses.
While there is much to do the year already has seen a great progress in the world of Big Data and hopefully we are set for more excitement and innovation for rest of the year.
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