Photo: Peter Chenoweth.
As 2014 gets underway, the buzzword on the lips of Singapore's CIOs, regardless of vertical, is 'analytics'. This is nothing new of course, it might seem to industry insiders that 'predictive analytics', and 'big data analytics', has been the source of a lot of hype for many years now.
Nevertheless, a significant number of enterprises seem to be poised this year to commence data analytics programs, with high expectations for predictive marketing and customer insights. In fact, Singapore-based enterprises are twice as likely as the average APAC organisation to anticipate year-on-year data growth of more than 51 percent. With such vast amounts of corporate data, the value that can be unlocked via analytics is surely worth exploring.
CIOs need to ensure that the proverbial 'house is in order' before embarking on any ambitious analytics ventures. As data increases in amount, it is also becoming increasingly complex, and CIOs must ensure that data is accessible and stored efficiently, and that IT teams are skilled enough to embark on analytics programs, before making expensive analytics purchases.
Here are three areas of concern:
1. Improve access
In Singapore, some 92 percent of organisations reported that timely access to specific data, in order to support decision making processes such as analytics, as 'critical'. No doubt, in order to mine the value from data, analytics processes will require quicker and more frequent access to retained data than many organisations can currently offer. Too many CIOs face the same problem; vast amounts of unstructured and structured data sitting redundant, often duplicated, and relatively unorganised on multiple, random storage platforms, renders the data virtually inaccessible.
To facilitate access to data, enterprises must be able to differentiate between what data is stored and where it is stored in the organisation's IT infrastructure. The growth of data, 'big data' specifically, is becoming so large and complex, that it becomes extremely difficult to work with using multiple data management tools. However, by centralising data management operations from a single, unified solution platform, much of the complexity associated with the foundations of data analytics — such as effectively protecting, archiving, replicating, searching, and locating data, can be eliminated.
2. Improve efficiency
According to a 2014 IT forecast by TekSystems, CIOs are optimistic about their IT budgets this year; some 62 percent expect an increase, extra budget that translates as the financial bandwidth many CIOs have been waiting for to explore analytics. However, in our experience, efficiently managing data can reduce costs by up to 70 percent, thus freeing up budgets, which can be repurposed toward analytic applications.
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