Big Data - How to extract value from the information explosion

Big Data - How to extract value from the information explosion

Without preparation, organisations may be overwhelmed with the sheer volume, variety and speed of raw information now available

With the volume of digital data predicted to reach four zetabytes in 2013, almost 50 per cent more than 2012 volumes according to IDC, the need for an effective enterprise-level information optimisation strategy has never been more important.

Without preparation, organisations may be overwhelmed with the sheer volume, variety and speed of raw information now available. The failure to manage and process this abundance can result in a range of enterprise-wide issues:

Competitors with more advanced information systems will leverage data and poach customers

Data value will be increasingly difficult to achieve

Time will be wasted sifting through irrelevant information

Inflexible and fragmented information infrastructure costs will escalate

Hence, there is a pressing need to gain insight from unconnected data and have the capability to use it effectively. Those able to respond quickly and strategically can achieve a critical market lead.

Harnessing the power of information

The ultimate goal for organizations should be to leverage 100% of the information to drive faster, intelligent business decisions and measure the value the information strategy returns in terms of new revenue, cost savings and faster time to market.

However, according to a study by Coleman Parkes Research, less than half are equipped with the right solutions to gain insight from big data, and only 15 percent currently incorporate unstructured data into their enterprise insights, processes and strategy.

Hence, organisations need to do the following:

Create an agile intelligence environment with the right infrastructure to capture and store massive data volumes, execute analytics in real time, and quickly adapt to changing priorities

Integrate an information and intelligence strategy across the organizational ecosystem to gain a complete view of the business data

Realize the full value of information assets by converting insight and ideas into action

Improving customer experience

By improving the way information is analyzed, organizations can gain better insights to help understand customer behaviors while supporting business decisions.

Information technologies can be structured to enhance an organization's ability to identify customer preferences, problems and trends. It is then used to better engage with the customer while providing insights to head off the competition.

This new intelligence can help in the development and migration of applications to the cloud to provide customers easy and fast access to new services.

Optimizing business performance

The processing of information to gain insights to improve business performance is another critical function of a data center, especially when dealing with unconnected structured and unstructured data.

By integrating, migrating and consolidating data storage, the organization, regardless of scale, can improve access to information and reduce IT operating costs. This creates an information infrastructure that is simple, agile, fast and cost effective while being scalable, modular and reliable.

By optimizing information, organizations can build a consistent infrastructure that serves the entire organization from data security and compliance, to analytics and agility.

Managing security and risk

With end-to-end management of 100 percent of big data as the new goal, enterprises should be examining better approaches for governance and security to handle increased risks and complexity.

Issues include the financial and legal risks of not using all of the available data for decision-making, accessibility and assurances that it is current and correct.

An intelligent information ecosystem can manage data in a secure environment to govern day-to-day business and reduce risk. It can also leverage insights to guide financial decisions and take advantage of new business opportunities.

Turning data into an asset

Organizations which fail to plan carefully and act promptly will risk being overwhelmed by the huge proliferation of big data.

On the flip side, the rewards for those capable of implementing a comprehensive, enterprise-level information optimization strategy will be significant.

Such a strategy can be broken into three key elements:

Information infrastructure to capture, store, replicate and scale data

Information management to manage, secure, govern and leverage data

Information insight tools to search, analyze, understand and act on data

Organizations capable of gaining deep insight and value from their data assets will reap a real return on their information.

Srini Kompella is general manager of Information Management and Analytics (IM&A) for HP Enterprise Services in Asia Pacific and Japan. Kompella has 17 years of industry and IT experience. He is specialized in the management of large-scale, complex IT projects with a deep knowledge of services in information management & analytics.

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