Trends in Data Management: Unlock the True Value Proposition of Big Data

As big data matures, organizations will start to see a return on investment.

by Ron Batra

Oracle ACE Director January 2015

Looking at 2015 and beyond, organizations will continue to institute big data strategies as they get more comfortable with the collection, aggregation, and analysis of different sources of data. The maturity level of the big data lifecycle will increase and organizations will seek to unlock its true value. Predictive analytics will see big growth, while privacy concerns will continue to be discussed, debated, and likely lobbied as society tries to find a balance between targeted marketing and invasion of privacy—particularly for consumer segments.

Converging Architectures The typical reference architecture has shifted significantly over the years. Virtualization started in some organizations before 2013 as an introduction to traditional infrastructure. Next, 2014 saw a big introduction of cloud services as well as a significant introduction of big data—new data sources and date types, new platforms, as well as a new set of reports, business intelligence, and analytics. Due to the rich variety of data sources, in particular from machine-to-machine and Internet of Things use cases, we see systems and architectures that are net-new to the average enterprise—for example, machine learning, data mining, predictive analytics, and big data visualization.

Predictive analytics will usher in a new era of look-ahead decision-making, solving business problems and increasing efficiencies in ways that were never done before.”

Initially, there will be a tendency to create computing silos as businesses seek to understand each new technology component. But with time, cloud and big data will become an integrated and well-knit part of average reference architecture. Cloud computing will continue to usher in availability of the “as-a-service” model across the board, while big data components will synchronize with traditional business intelligence and analytics where applicable, with some net-new introductions. Oracle Big Data SQL is a good approach to preventing the formation of silos by bridging engineered systems, Hadoop, NoSQL, and relational databases. batra-f1

Big Data Value Proposition

Businesses have clearly understood the strategic importance of using big data to their competitive advantage. IT is in a position to collect and analyze big data and deliver it in different forms of business intelligence, providing additional speed, accuracy, and granularity to make critical, data-driven decisions. As big data adds to the traditional methods of business intelligence and analytics, some businesses will reap vast benefits and find themselves ahead of the curve to their competitive advantage, while some businesses may find they already had methods similar to big data for those insights. Thus, there will be an emphasis on seeking the value proposition and return on investment of big data systems, balancing investment with returns—in other words, the classical business case for big data. batra-f2

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics will usher in a new era of look-ahead decision-making, solving business problems and increasing efficiencies in ways that were never done before, from inventory replenishment to targeted marketing. While traditional forms of business intelligence available today can provide a high degree of predictability, big data has volume and variety that provide a tapestry of data points never before explored. The rise in mobile computing, social media, and other net-new data sources are the drivers behind this. This will be an evolutionary cycle characterized by niche applications and verticals, and business economics will shape the direction of a new era of analytics. The TV show Person of Interest is a very relevant case study. It combines elements of predictive analytics, machine learning, facial recognition, location-based services, and data mining to predict certain outcomes—in this case, to forecast and prevent the next violent crime. While the show may be a bit far-fetched, I see it as a blueprint for several big data and analytics technologies in play.

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Ron Batra is senior director of technology at Equinix and an Oracle ACE Director.

As big data technologies mature, one area that will provide an interesting foil to their advancement is privacy. Privacy concerns will continue to be debated and resolved in the halls of industry and politics. Even after data is aggregated and masked, people may find some forms of targeted marketing too aggressive and decide to opt out of leaving certain digital footprints that could be analyzed later on. In addition, analysis of certain information (such as location data, for example) can provoke negative reactions from the public. This brings out concerns of personal security as well as predictions of an Orwellian future. This year, the White House and MIT’s CSAIL’s Big Data Initiative led a workshop on big data privacy. It is expected several similar efforts will take place in the halls of policy-making and industry as we strive to reach a happy meeting point between using all of this exciting new information and respecting privacy.



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