Over the past year, Big Data has emerged Big Time in the world of business intelligence and analytics. Tools and technologies are falling behind in their ability to handle the explosive growth of information. Never before used terms like petabytes and exabytes are becoming more and more commonplace. The IDC estimated that in 2011 1.8 zettabytes of data was created and replicated. Sure, healthcare, financial services and manufacturing may have the BIG side of big data, but what about those companies who are never going to be managing petabytes, or even terabytes of data. Does the buzz of Big Data impact them? Absolutely. Take for instance a $50MM company that sells and services copy machines. Their customers range from small “mom and pop” shops up to Fortune 500 employers. How does big data matter to them? Let’s take a for-instance closer look.
Currently their state of BI is managed via MS Excel and myriad MS Access databases. Nothing formally consolidated, no data warehouse, just in time manually intensive reporting. Lots of data exists but no way to use it all.
- Their competition is moving in, being first-to-the-door to new customers, offering more attractive pricing options and better perceived value.
- How does this company maintain their customer base and keep pace with the competition.
- Adequate infrastructure is not in place to handle a BI consolidation effort incorporating all their data which if consolidated would total 750GB.
- Information-driven decision making
- Holistic view of all aspects of their business; incorporate unstructured data with structured data to better understand the marketplace, competition, product satisfaction quotients…
- Not just reporting, but forecasting and modeling
- Reduced service costs via flat rate pricing and decision-tree based diagnostics
To this copier company, moving from a scattered collection of data to a consolidated, logical, and pervasive repository of information and intelligence represents BIG Data. No, they likely won’t rush out to buy Hadoop or other massive data handling technologies, but they will need to invest in the right infrastructure to provide performance, scale and insights that they’ve never had before into 750GB of data. This is big data for them.
Decisions around the hardware, software, BI tools, security, DR, publication/visualization will need to be made. How are the right decisions made? How long will it take? What can be expected once all the new capabilities are online?
As a Client Services Partner at LÛCRUM I’ve served companies ranging from the Global 50 to small entrepreneurial enterprises in creating solutions for the simple to the most complex of business problems. Business Intelligence solutions are critical to every organization by enabling the transformation of their data into truly meaningful information. Size does not matter.
If you’d like to talk through this more, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.