What to do when big data gets too big

Sponsored By: IBM

Most executives believe that big data will support better decision-making and help their organizations gain a competitive edge. At the same time, many of them are drowning in a tidal wave of information.

It’s no wonder. Estimates suggest that over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated globally every day. This number is expected to grow exponentially as the Internet of Things gains steam, with billions of devices generating reams of data.

Yet, according to Forbes Magazine, only five per cent of all data created is ever used.

Imagine this. Your company has released a new product and the customer response goes viral on Twitter. Does your company have the capability to turn 12 terabytes of tweets created in one day into actionable insights? To put it into perspective, that’s enough data to fill one million phone books.

Organizations that can quickly manage this analysis (and the Kardashians) are winning in the digital economy.

Why the old tools are not enough

Traditional business intelligence solutions aren’t helping. In fact, they might be making the problem worse.

Chances are that when your product goes viral on social media, you’re going to need the help of the IT team and a business analyst to produce a report. Indeed, a survey by Stratecast indicates that as much as 60 per cent of a business analyst’s time is spent cleansing data and formatting it for presentation. It also results in another report on your desk to read.

By the time a decision can be taken, it might be too late to capitalize on the attention from the tweet storm. The tidal wave will have drowned it out.

The New Business Intelligence

To overcome the challenges posed by data overflow, organizations need to consider a new approach.

First, they need tools that will put the analysis and insights into the hands of those who make the decisions on a daily basis. The information needs to be immediate, and available to users without IT intervention.

Second, the tools need to be interactive and easy to use. Employees need to be able to manipulate the data to answer the “what if” questions. They also need to be able to make adjustments when the data changes.

Finally, the reports generated must be visual, allowing users to drill into the information as needed, and to make quick decisions.

A business intelligence solution with these qualities can be a game-changer for organizations seeking to address the toughest business questions, and to get ahead of the market. Indeed, a study by independent analyst firm Cabot Partners found that cloud deployment of IBM’s enterprise solution produced a return on investment of 246 to 617 per cent over three years, with a payback in less than six months.

With results like that, organizations can use data analytics to become top agile leaders in their markets – and they can keep up with the Kardashians.

To learn more about how a smart business intelligence solution can bring value to your organization, download the research paper by Frost & Sullivan, “Defining the New Business Intelligence: Visual, Immediate and Cognitive.”


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Sponsored By: IBM

Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker has over 20 years of experience in IT-related fields in the public and private sectors, as a lawyer and strategic advisor. She is a former broadcast journalist, currently working as a consultant, freelance writer and editor.