By now, most people in IT have at least heard the term “Big Data” and are familiar with the fundamental concepts. What they may not fully appreciate just yet is how much is at stake from a business perspective.
As data is increasingly seen as a resource that businesses need to exploit better, it’s only natural to see them want to gain access to as much data as possible. In an ideal world, this means comparing all the data a company possesses with as many sources of external relevant data as possible in the hopes of gaining insights that will lead to better decisions.
The sad truth of the matter about most analytics applications is that the results they generate are based on relatively thin slices of data. In the Big Data era, not only will we see applications that analyze all the raw data available, but many of the decisions that have been made based on the results generated by previous generations of analytics applications will have to be revisited.
In a new book titled “Big Data Analytics: Turning Big Data into Big Money,” author Frank Ohlhorst makes the case that Big Data applications will eventually transform almost every aspect of the economy. Of course, as Ohlhorst points out, there are no shortages of cultural and technical challenges that need to be met before that happens. But what’s important to remember is that it will be the organizations that have the tools and intestinal fortitude to turn all the Big Data into an actual competitive weapon that will ultimately carry the day.
Obviously, large companies with the resources needed to master Big Data have a strategic advantage. At the same time, however, there’s no correlation between the amount of money spent and actual success. In fact, it’s fairly likely that entire vertical industries will be turned inside out, especially as startup companies move aggressively to utilize Big Data to usurp slower moving incumbents. They say business is war. If that’s the case, then the ammunition that modern businesses will be using to fight those battles is the algorithms that organizations will rely on to turn Big Data into actionable intelligence.