Free Webinar Looks at Applying Big Data to Business

Loraine Lawson
Slide Show

The Business Impact of Big Data

Many business executives want more information than ever, even though they're already drowning in it.

Big Data is going to be a big deal for businesses. That's not my opinion; it's the conclusion of an in-depth study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and McKinsey Business Technology Office.


As I shared in May, the study found the potential for a huge impact in every sector it examined. One example: It could mean $300 billion more value each year for the U.S. health care system, primarily in reduced expenditures.


That's comforting, but it doesn't actually do much to address one pressing question: How can you use Big Data at your organization or business?


It's a question IT leaders are struggling with, says GigaOM, and this Wednesday, the GigaOM Pro group (a subscription service) will host a free analyst discussion, via a webcast, that focuses on that very issue.


The title, "Solving big data for big business," suggests an enterprise focus, but the topic lists looks applicable to any organization interested in Big Data. Among the topics the group will discuss are:

  • The challenges to using Big Data for making business decisions.
  • How data integration and analysis differs for Big Data.
  • What data sources can be integrated into your Big Data strategy.
  • What the critical capabilities are for Big Data.


Big Data is being used in some very interesting ways. In my discussions with various experts, I've heard applications as broad as using Big Data to predict electrical outages to processing large amounts of video and audio files to uncover security threats. IBM's David Corrigan recently shared a great example of how Big Data could be applied to a pure IT problem: processing all the information from various IT logs.


Corrigan said:

There isn't an IT shop in the world where I haven't heard somebody say, 'Yeah, that's a great use.' We see a lot of companies starting to use big data even internally for things like IT log analysis, to take information from various IT logs. That's all structured information, but I'd say the real point of that could be it's multiple structures that it takes some time to put that info one structure. I think the real purpose would be you don't have to force one structure.

GigaOM recently wrote about two ways companies are using Big Data to solve business problems that are worth a quick read. "How big data could change what you watch on TV" shares how What's Watched and other companies are using publicly available data to better match potential viewers with advertising. The second is a recent piece on how Monster.com is offering SeeMore, a SaaS-based solution that crunches big sets of unstructured data found in resumes to match potential employees with jobs.


As I mentioned, the panel webcast is free and you do not have to be a subscriber to GigaOM Pro to attend, but you will need to pre-register since spots are apparently limited. It's scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, at 10 a.m. PDT - that's 1 p.m. for those of you on the East Coast.

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