Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Donald Meyer, Reinhard Brandstädter, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Big Data: Taming the Beast for Competitive Advantage

I’d hate to see anyone miss out on the opportunity presented by Big Data

I recently presented, "The Moneyball Approach to Big Data - Creating an Unfair Advantage," at the Wall Street Technology Association's Hot Technologies Forum in New York. Everyone is talking about Big Data, but when it comes to taking action, most are taking a "wait-and-see" approach, and that concerns me. Skepticism or "late-adopter" mentality is understandable - if you want to forego a low-risk, high-reward opportunity and let your competition gain the advantage.

My job is to create value for my customers, and I'd hate to see anyone miss out on the opportunity presented by Big Data.

What's the Problem?
The Corporate Executive Board identified three potential barriers to Big Data implementation:

  1. Information Attainability (the right information is available and easy to find)
  2. Information Usefulness (information is of good quality and is usable in format)
  3. Employee Capability (employees analyze information effectively to make good decisions)

While these are definitely three potential barriers to implementation, the main problem I see in the market is pre-implementation where the "wait and see" mentality is caused by either a feeling that Big Data is over-hyped ("maybe it will go away"), or paralysis by analysis (the enormity and complexity of Big Data is too confusing to take action).

What Is Big Data?
The most common definition I've seen for Big Data is summarized by the three Vs:

  • Volume: It's big - terabytes and petabytes of data
  • Variety: It comes in many forms - internal, external, structured, and unstructured
  • Velocity: It is growing and changing rapidly - making real-time capture and action hugely important

This definition is always supported by numbers showing the vastness and enormity of Big Data:

  • The New York Stock Exchange creates 1 terabyte of data per day (InformationWeek)
  • 10,000 payment-card transactions are made per second worldwide (American Banker)
  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every month (McKinsey)
  • Twitter feeds generate 8 terabytes of data every day (InformationWeek)

The Internet plays a huge role in the rapid growth of Big Data, giving individuals the ability to post and upload immense amounts of pictures, text, video, and mobile data. It also gives businesses a channel to offer access to customers and partners through web-based applications (think Oracle, salesforce.com, social media, procurement, logistics, publishers, etc.). One way to visualize this explosion of applications and data is the Bessemer Venture Partners Cloudscape. And that's just in the cloud. Don't forget all of the apps and data behind the firewall of every organization, whether commercial, governmental, or charitable. Big Data truly is BIG.

Start Small
Before you go out and buy massive amounts of storage, take a look at what you currently consume and utilize and start from there in easily digestible portions. Forrester estimates that enterprises currently utilize less than 5% of available data. In a survey of global executives, IBM shows that 33% have made decisions with inaccurate data or data they don't trust; half don't have sufficient information from across their organization to do their job; 75% believe more predictive information would drive better decisions; yet 87% have yet to even start taking advantage of opportunities to leverage information to their advantage. You don't need to immediately implement a solution getting you to 100% or even 50% of available data - 6-10% will do for now.

If there are 200 million tweets a day equaling 8 terabytes of data, but only 1,000 of those tweets relate to your product or company, do you need to store and analyze all 8 terabytes every day? Think of it this way: there's a huge difference between "I have terabytes of data - videos, satellite pictures, social media conversations, and research reports" and "I know where Public Enemy #1 is." It comes down to Data vs. Intelligence. Data is useless if you can't extract meaningful intelligence from it. And the quality of the intelligence is much less dependent on the volume of data than it is on the relevance of the data and your ability to access it.

The Magic Words: Relevance and Accessibility
Although Big Data lives up to its name, don't get caught up in all the massive numbers. Focus on what's relevant to your business. Consider this: Sybase published Big Data, Big Opportunity that stated "for the median Fortune 1000 company... a 10% increase in usability of data translates to an increase of $2.01 billion in total revenue per year, [and] a 10% increase in accessibility to data translates to an additional $65.67 million in net income per year." Just because your company currently may have access to only 5 percent of the relevant data that is available, don't despair. You don't have to go from 5 percent to 100 percent. You really only need to go from 5 percent to 5.5 percent to reap great rewards.

The Secret to Taming Big Data
Despite all the hype and discussion around Big Data's massiveness, I've yet to find a single article mentioning the difficulty of accessing data that is spread throughout all of the various source applications. Until recently there were no Big Data integration platforms that could deal with the exploding number of applications and all of the data they contain, as well as the speed at which both are changing. Just a glance at the daily domain statistics on www.domaintools.com gives you an idea of the volume of sites being created, deleted, and transferred every 24 hours. Not every integration solution can manage the intensity of that kind of change to give you access to the relevant data - the business intelligence - your business needs when you need it.

The whole point of gaining access to relevant data is that it must be actionable. Otherwise it's a big waste of time and effort. What's amazingly useful about Big Data, and the web-based nature of so much of it, is that with a Big Data integration platform you can access any data you can see on a website and you can just as easily transform that data, perform an operation on it, and automate a resulting action. Here's an example:

You know that consumers and even your B2B purchasers research prices online and that loyalty to any one vendor has deteriorated as buyers have more pricing knowledge just a search and mouse-click away. But you're smarter than your competitors because you're already doing the extra 10 percent. You set up automated monitoring of your competitor's pricing, and when their price drops below yours, your Big Data integration platform calculates the difference plus 10%, logs into your ecommerce site and adjusts your prices automatically, all in mere moments. The beauty is that this can all be set up in hours, if not a few days, and you don't have to bring in an army of developers or consultants to create custom code to do any of it.

If I told you I could guarantee any application or data you can see in your web browser (customer data, bank transactions, twitter, blogs, supply chain vendors, government data, competitor prices, etc.) could be automatically accessed and loaded into the application, database, or spreadsheet of your choice, how many game-changing Big Data projects could you imagine? Understanding the point-in-time cash position of billions of dollars across 300 banks? No problem. Monitoring competitor pricing on 50,000 SKUs every day? Simple. Automating a 23-step manual invoicing process to get paid millions of dollars two days faster? Done. Real-time, automated access to the relevant data you need is the key to success with Big Data.

Every company can benefit from Big Data in many ways, but most don't realize it. Hundreds of scenarios are possible using real-time application integration platforms that could save your company millions of dollars; grow revenue by double-digit percentages; create more personalized products that delight your customers; automate real-time feedback on your brand, products, and competitor prices; create your own custom research that allows you to see trends before your competitors do; and overall make your company a much more agile business that scales with your new-found vigor and growth. Don't let the size of Big Data paralyze you; get real-time access to the data that is relevant to your company's growth and take action.

More Stories By Rick Kawamura

Rick Kawamura, VP of Marketing at Kapow Software, is the driving force behind global marketing at Kapow Software. He and his team are accelerating the company’s growth and expanding its leadership in the application integration market worldwide.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) will feature the upcoming 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in a New York news documentary about the "New IT for the Future." The documentary will cover how big companies are transmitting or adopting the new IT for the future and will be filmed on the expo floor between June 7-June 9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. KBS has long been a leader in the development of the broadcasting culture of Korea. As the key public service broadcaster of Korea...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...