Converting big data and analytics into real results

IBM explains how the changed role of big data and analytics can help businesses be more competitive.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Big data and analytics are the next competitive advantages that businesses will have over their competitors, according to John Hagerty, program director of IBM.

Speaking at the Gartner Business Intelligence and Information Management Summit on Tuesday in Sydney, Hagerty said that for a long time, data and analytics formed part of a business' reporting and analyst paradigm. However, this has shifted to become a driver for all different types of engagements, particularly when it is coupled with the cloud.

"We're seeing a fundamental shift internally, where big data and analytics is fuelling interactions from management processes to the way applications work within an organisation. It is also strengthening a business' potential engagement with customers. In some ways, it has become an engine to help drive a business forward."

According to IBM research, businesses that are using big data and analytics the "new way" have outperformed their competitors by 75 percent.

"The landscape is almost unlimited to think about what can be accomplished when treating big data and analytics as part of the business and to what difference it can make," Hagerty said.

Hagerty also outlined five key points that businesses need to consider to make big data and analytics a reality:

  1. Building a culture to infuse analytics everywhere and on everything an employee touches.

  2. Choosing the right business cases so that big data and analytics can be transformed into reality; the solution is to look inwards into the business, which can include acquiring, retaining, up-selling, and transforming financial processes.

  3. Investing in capabilities driven by software to ensure there is awareness that data comes in all different forms, and therefore needs to be treated and deployed differently.

  4. Being proactive about governing privacy and security policies, because often, while the data is used for internal purposes, it is generated externally. It's also to ensure that the business' reputation is protected if the data is hacked.

  5. Deciding on how the data will be deployed, given that there are now different architectures available. This can include on-premises, in the cloud, as a service, and as a hybrid. 

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