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BLOG: A fistful of data

Terry Smagh | Nov. 5, 2012
How financial markets are making the most of data.

Many businesses claim they need a crystal ball to be able to take advantage of 'big data insights'. To me, however, it seems they are missing the point. Too much of the discussion in the area of big data appears to focus on the expanse and volume of data that organisations and partners are grappling with. Not enough emphasis is given to making the most of it. IBM commented on information increasing twofold while Cisco predicted that by 2015, there will be 15 billion connected devices in circulation.

There's clearly a preoccupation with the amount of information, rather than a focus on how to extract insight from it in this much debated topic. So is a crystal ball the only way to answer big data conundrums? Is this kind of insight really beyond our reach? I certainly don't think so and I'll explain why.

All too often, organisations don't go far enough in giving users the tools to make their own discoveries happen. This is unfortunate, but provides the perfect opportunity for VARs and partners to help provide solutions to make this happen.

In my view, and judging by our customers' needs, the onus should be on enabling organisations to empower their employees. Ensuring data is downloaded and stored in an easily accessible fashion is important for reporting and referencing purposes, but mining it is the key to learning and growing as a business.

Take for example a trend developing among financial institutions who are embracing business insight tools to avoid another global financial meltdown. Backing information up and making it available for the long-term is highly important for this industry. However, in today's economy it is just as important to be able to act on the here and now with intelligence that's easily accessible and digestible. Using IT and technology cleverly can bring forth new opportunities but also give clarity on the decisions and strategies that led to past mistakes.

Over 2,500 financial services institutions have signed up to use our software alone, utilising it to continue to manage risk, meet regulatory compliance, spot growth opportunities and increase margins. Users span many departments from Risk Management to Client Servicing. Facilitating better, faster decisions and arming employees with the correct tools, the route to success is made as simple as possible.

Nowhere to hide

It's safe to say there's nowhere to hide from big data. From purchasing a special offer at your local supermarket to tweeting about your favourite brand of coffee, we create multiple data insights every day, and you can bet that someone, somewhere is looking to use this intelligence.

Like many trends before it, such as cloud, mobile and social, Business Discovery and Data Analysis is making inroads into many businesses. But it's the potential impact it could have across a variety of sectors that gives it the ability to transform businesses for the better.

 Terry Smagh is VP of South East North Asia, QlikView


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