Big Data Simplified – Part 3

March 20, 2012 3:32 pm 0 comments
Big Data

Its Data and its growing Big

In the 1st Part of this 3 Part Post we tried to understand the question : What is Big Data? Then in part 2 of this post we tried to understand the Issues with Data and the Evolution of Technology around Data. Now in this 3rd and final part of the Post we try to understand the Importance of Big Data and why Businesses should care about Big Data.

Impact and Importance of Big Data on Business

There are many ways to look at Big Data and what it means for business.

One interesting way to look at Big Data is the Social Enterprise view as being pushed aggressively by Salesforce.com

If you don’t have time to watch the above video just read this:

There is a large and growing quantum of Social Data around the Enterprise. We can potentially link the Social Data to the Enterprise Data. This can give us better insights. Which can mean Better Products for Customers and Better Revenues and Profitability for the Enterprise.

Social Enterprise and Big Data

Social Enterprise and Big Data

It is becoming increasingly possible to handle large velocity and variety of data. Hence, Businesses will naturally push to gain better insights to improve their competitiveness.

However, we should not think that Big Data is just about bringing Social and Enterprise Data together.

Big Data is rather about bringing together data that was otherwise too hard to catpure and hence left out or ignored or captured in an unstructured format as files(e.g. log files) to be processed later.

Interesting uses of Big Data are bound to emerge over time.
e.g. An Automobile Insurance Company in the future can offer you a highly competitive rate of insurance as compared to their competitor if they have sufficient data on your driving history.

In the past the best record of this history was your Driving Record with the DMV which just tagged the number of accidents you had been in or the number of Traffic Violations you had made.

The DMV had no means of capturing all the Violations that never really got caught or noticed by a Cop. Or how well and steadily you drive. This data was too expensive to capture, hold and process or in simpler terms the technology did not exist at an affordable price.

Today, it would be possible to collect a driving record of an individual based on a Real Time GPS location of the car simply based on a Mobile phone that you use!

If DMV was to record this data every time you drove your car and make this your driving record with accurate details of Speed, Time, Distance Travelled.

The Insurance firm could then correlate this data with the existing data on your Traffic Violations or Tickets and give you a much more accurate quote for insurance.

In the future, they could also overlay this data on a GIS Map, Factor in Weather Conditions from a feed of data from the Meteorological Department and cut you some slack on your violations or speeding for the days you were in bad weather or simply going down a steep slope!

An Auto Insurance firm may do this in order to get more competitive than your current provider and hope that you would move to them. Or in order to increase the premiums of existing policy holders who continue to have a poor driving pattern even though they manage to avoid the cops and cameras!

Hence, Big Data is about:

a) A better future where products and services are at the right price, the price that you deserve

b) Where Success is about the Market, Product and Customer(Policy) selection based on Big Data Insights

c) Where Competitive Advantage is about the Crunchability of Data

Crunchability* = Time Function (Volume, Velocity, Variety)

* Crunchability is the Speed with which your Enterprise can crunch data to gain insight
no matter what the Velocity of Generation (within our outside your enterprise), no matter what the Volume, no matter what the Variety.

Competitive Advantage Versus Crunchability

Competitive Advantage Versus Crunchability

It can be hypothesised that there are bound to be inflection points which make it meaningful to embark on a Big Data journey for your enterprise before which it may not make sense to embark on Big Data and after which no matter what you spend your value from Big Data does not increase your Competitive Advantage.

Increasingly, it should become evident to Enterprises that success in Big Data is all about success in the Cloud. This would mean a clear understanding of the Layers view of your business technology and how it you leverage Cloud within each of these layers and create the most cost efficient Big Data solution.

Big Data and Cloud

Get your Cloud Strategy Right and Big Data will follow!

Does it mean go lock stock and barrel to a Big Data Public Cloud provider?
Absolutely Not. You have to see this in the context of your organization.

Lets remember, Cloud is all about the ‘right cost and delivery model’ when it comes to Data Storage and Data Processing.

Crunching larger and larger volumes of data till you reach your inflection point cannot come cheap (read competitive) unless you have a “Big Data Cloud” strategy.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Special Thanks to Douglas Laney of Gartner for his foresight in the space of Big Data way back in 2001 and his insights on Volume and Variety of data. Without his prior work it would have made my task of coming up with the concept and function of Crunchability a lot harder to Crunch!

Recap:

Crunchability* = Time Function (Volume, Velocity, Variety)

* Crunchability is the Speed with which your Enterprise can crunch data to gain insight
no matter what the Velocity of Generation (within our outside your enterprise), no matter what the Volume, no matter what the Variety.

Watch this space for more on Big Data.

Read More:

Big Data Simplified – Part 1
(This post covers What is Big Data?)

Big Data Simplified – Part 2
(This post covers Issues with Data and the Evolution of Technology around Data)

McKinsey’s 156 page report “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity

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