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Unleashing the potential of big data in four ways

Martin Hooper, Big Data & Predictive Analysis Expert, Asia Pacific, CenturyLink | Nov. 5, 2015
A four-pronged approach for IT leaders to transform their business with big data.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Martin Hooper, CenturyLink
Photo: Martin Hooper

In Singapore, the iN2015 Masterplan charts Singapore's vision to become a smart nation as well as a key technological hub in the world by 2020. In addition, with an all-time-high Internet penetration rate of 80 percent, and an average of having 3.3 phones per user here, businesses have an indispensable amount of data at their fingertips. While some have begun to make the switch to tap on big data, many others are still relying on legacy processes to make key business decisions.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the global big data market will reach US$122 billion in revenue by 2025 and the global data traffic will cross 100 zettabytes annually by 2025. The use of big data analytics to uncover insights has long been touted one of the greatest technological trends of all time. Big data analytics can help to churn out important insights that measure and assess changes in the behaviour of consumers and the marketplace. Relying solely on legacy processes and traditional methodologies are insufficient to ensure performance efficacies.

Leveraging our expertise in big data and hybrid IT, CenturyLink adopts a four-pronged approach for IT leaders to transform their business with big data:

  1. Overcome the legacy bias — One of big data's greatest impacts on key business decisions is its ability to serve as the voice of the consumer. Even so, a large proportion of organisations still remain unaware or unsure about how big data can help in the decision-making process. They continue to use legacy processes, educated guess-work or even rely on intuition to make important business decisions. That however, is something that businesses must learn to move beyond.
    According to a research, 94 percent of Singapore executives who have used big data saw it as a significant source of value for their business. However, 61 percent of them also agree that the biggest challenge that they face when making the switch is the cost. Making the switch to big data can be a tough, but necessary call to make.
  2. Use all your data — An organisation that wants to leverage on big data technology to its fullest potential, must make sure that it is using up all the relevant data that it can muster from both internal and external sources. The idea is simple: the more data you analyse, the greater your insights.
    Even companies that have already embraced big data may not be using all the information available to them. Being data-driven is a good thing; but if you are only looking at some data, you may overlook certain long-term trends.
  3. Manage success with a chief data officer — As companies take on data analysts, they often have to choose between specialists who are adept in their particular field of work, and generalists who can nimbly navigate across diverse business conditions. Multi-skilled generalists, such as chief data officers, are better suited to fast-paced business environments. They are the ones who are always asking whether the organisation is efficiently using every single piece of data to churn out the newest and latest insights, regardless of business units and silos.
  4. Look to the cloud for analysis — The substantial up-front cost for an in-house infrastructure needed for big data analytics was once a barrier-to-entry for many businesses that wanted to use big data. Thanks to the emergence of cloud-based solutions, small and large businesses alike can now make use of big data with minimal resources being invested into it, which also offer a fast and low-cost.
    Even organisations without in-house data-analysis infrastructure now can embrace a data-driven culture by outsourcing for big data services with the help of a hybrid IT provider. Their competitors, who fail to catch onto the trend, will begin to fall behind and become increasing out-of-sync with the rapidly-changing consumer behaviour and marketplace dynamics.

The push for the use of big data is an imminent trend that many businesses and organisations must catch on and adapt to as fast as possible or risk losing out in this data chase.


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