It is time to start doing something with all of that data: IBM

Technology giant sees an opportunity for all of the data that is being generated

The data is there, but according to IBM business analytics and optimisation leader, Graham Kittle, it is what we do with it that counts.

While the discussion up to now may have been about the proliferation of data, Kittle spoke at IBM’s Smarter Analytics Live 2013 in Sydney about how it has shifted to the application of it.

“Every two months now, we are producing - as a global population - more data than was produced up to 2003,” he said.

Since nearly everything is instrumented these days, Kittle said one of the major opportunities can be found in all of the connected devices associated with our daily lives.

Kittle references some research IBM recently carried out into mobile and social habits, finding that 90 per cent of the population in China admitting to having a mobile phone within arms reach 24 hours a day.

“That is a pretty amazing statistic, as we are interestingly not that far behind as a global population,” he said.

While instrumentation with smartphones is well documented, Kittle also points to traffic sensors, CCTV and in time IPTV contributing to the analytics field.

“I like to lean on the side of optimism, but there is a wonderful opportunity for us as business leader to develop systems and services to our customers,” he said.

“Also, as customers, we finally can get the types of services, relationships and jobs that truly suit us and provide value.”

Hype machine

Kittle said there is some hype when it comes to Big Data, and the market, including both vendors and analysts, has “been responsible for some of that hype.”

“However, the reality is that the organisations that have taken the time to focus and explore are absolutely seeing value,” he said.

“It is largely about the culture in the organisation, business processes and skills that we attract are going to successfully take us into this new era.”

While Kittle sees enormous possibilities in big data, he concedes that there are also threats when it comes to managing brand and customer base, developing those relationships and trust.

In the past it could potentially take months to damage a brand, but now in can happen overnight with a single tweet on Twitter.

“However, we think the opportunity will outweigh those threats over time,” Kittle said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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