Laser-focused customer insights critical for business growth

Laser-focused customer insights critical for business growth

Highlights the new dynamics of big data

One of the most common use cases that Cloudera uses to help its customers is what the company refer to as laser-focused customer insights, or what is more commonly known as customer 360.

This use case is actually about correcting a bad hack that businesses have faced previously as a result of not having businesses at scale.

Cloudera founder and chief technology officer, Amr Awadallah, who was speaking at a keynote session of its Strata + Hadoop World conference in Singapore, said having laser-focused customer insights is vital for business success.

He mentioned the pharmaceutical industry as an example.

“In the pharmaceutical industry, we have been guilty of doing just that – creating a drug that cures everybody in the same exact way when we are all very different in our own ways.

“That means for some people, the drug will work very well for, while for others, it will not work. And for some, the drug might even pose bad side effects,” he mentioned.

“So what the industry at large is doing, and Cloudera is helping out with in terms of software and resources, is moving towards what we refer to as precision medicine – building tailored drugs exactly for the disease and exactly for the problem a person has.”

Awadallah also highlighted a statistic to stress the importance of correctly mining information from big data and using it for customer insights.

“90 per cent of the data that we have in the world was generated in the last two years. It is a very shocking statistic. Furthermore, we are only effectively using 0.5 per cent of that data.

“And we expect the volume of the data that we have, if the growth projections continue, to grow by 10 times in the next four years, from 4.4 zettabytes to 44 zettabytes,” he mentioned.

As such, according to Awadallah, the potential for businesses to leverage that data effectively is huge.

OCBC head of group customer analytics and decisioning and CRM senior vice-president, Donald MacDonald, who was also speaking at the keynote session, said big data is one of the topics where everyone fantasises about what they can do with it but very few actually do it.

“If we step back and have a look at why people fail to get their big data initiatives of the ground, it boils down to two reasons – a lack of alignment to the business and failing to build a business case to justify the investment,” he said.

MacDonald also spoke about the importance of distinguishing between analytics 1.0 and big data analytics.

“Many customers don’t understand the difference. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the dollars and cents when it comes to big data. When you build your business case, you need to focus purely on the revenue growth, or cost savings.

“A big data strategy generally boils down to three pillars – cheap data, new data, and fast data. So, education is key in distinguishing this. Forget about the big data buzzwords, just focus on the benefits,” he added.

Hafizah Osman is attending Cloudera's Strata + Hadoop World conference in Singapore as a guest of Cloudera.

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