For the next six months, everything within the IT industry is about the content of Big Data, according to IDC program vice-president of worldwide storage systems research, Benjamin Woo.
Speaking at the Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium (IIIS) 2011 in Sydney, Woo simplified the extended definition of Big Data as the ability to derive value through technology.
“That concept isn’t new. The newness that we are talking about here is related to economics, accessibility to technologies and to the fact that we have put together all the data sources in the world,” he said.
Woo concentrated on providing an insight into how Big Data will impact all businesses on a day-to-day basis and losing competitive edge in the event of not adopting it within the next five years.
The categories within the Big Data platform include: decision support and automation interface, analytics and discovery, data organisation and management and infrastructure.
He suggested four key strategies when implementing Big Data, which he acknowledged as the four ‘V’s, which include:
- Volume – What is big to one business might be small to another : He said content produced in a bigger company will produce more results than a smaller one and that larger enterprises have to embrace it more quickly as their competitors are more likely to be doing the same thing.
- Variety – Where does the data comes from and the types of data that businesses deal with: Woo stated that businesses should collect data from all the social services possible – including FaceBook, Flickr and YouTube, using current technologies such as mobile devices, bar codes and traditional data entry methods.
- Velocity – How quickly it can be processed: According to Woo, businesses can process it as quickly as they can cleanse and filter the information by doing analytical and discovery work.
- Value – How can it be done in such a way that businesses can derive value to create some competitive advantage over others: He claimed that acting on the content produced could lead to the ability to feed other systems that rectify or create value for opportunities.
“It is a multi-dimensional process of trying to find answers to which questions have not been asked. It is highly complex and right now, we are at the beginning of the curve,” Woo said.
He said that the biggest gap IT professionals face globally is the lack of knowing what to do with it in terms of Big Data uses.
According to him, the key to get there in a quick and economical fashion is to simplify infrastructure and architectures and spend time on in making the CEO and customers happy.
Woo provided some successful international examples – including American store, Dollar General and IBM’s computer technology, Watson.
Such companies have implemented systems to comprehend the data that they collect, create hypothesis and sell it back to their suppliers to expand the businesses further.
“It’s all about supporting decisions, and when you are talking about making decisions that have millions and billions of dollars’ worth of impact, you’re going to want to have as much information as possible to support your case,” he concluded.