Author Archive

 

The Big Data Storage Opportunity in the Cloud

Friday, February 21st, 2014 by

The Big Data phenomenon has encouraged organizations to pursue all options when accumulating increasingly diverse information sets from highly disparate sources. The trend has essentially expanded the network and caused an influx of traffic. Unfortunately, conventional IT systems with minimal or limited bandwidth simply can’t live up to the constantly changing levels of data transit. This complication is causing some organizations to stop in their tracks, ending Big Data initiatives before they can provide any proof of positive returns.

The big data storage opportunity in the cloud

The Big Data storage opportunity in the cloud

The good news is that the volume of Big Data doesn’t have to be a deterrent. Instead, experiencing problems with increasingly large amounts of information can be a wake-up call for businesses to implement new technologies like a flexible storage and warehousing environment that are capable of scaling on-demand.

Enter: cloud computing.

Although the cloud has received a lot of attention in the application development, backup, and disaster recovery markets, its highly agile nature makes it an especially beneficial solution in the Big Data realm. By implementing a cloud storage architecture, for example, organizations can gather massive amounts of information without worrying about hitting capacity. And because the cloud is so scalable, decision-makers pay only for what they need when they need it, making the hosted environment ideal for the constantly changing demands of Big Data.

So what’s the catch?
There’s no doubt that cloud infrastructure services can be an appealing technology for companies looking to take advantage of the Big Data movement without encountering bandwidth or performance issues. However, that doesn’t mean the cloud is perfect. Some firms may encounter issues when using the cloud for the first time because the hosted services themselves are relatively new. The initial migration to the cloud, for example, can be difficult for enterprises that aren’t used to outsourcing or have never used managed services of any kind.

(more…) «The Big Data Storage Opportunity in the Cloud»

Big Data Can Knock Down Technical Barriers in the Boardroom

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by

The boardroom plays an important role in the ongoing development of an organization. Filled with executives and partners of all types, this room is the place where most decisions about a company’s future are made. Traditionally, discussions about the trajectory of enterprise programs were built around old conversations and past experiences, which guided decision-makers to either fund or kill prospective projects, depending on how rewarding managers believed certain initiatives would be in the long run.

Big data should knock down technical barriers in the boardroom

Big Data can knock down technical barriers in the boardroom

Today, some companies are embracing similar mentalities, which isn’t necessarily helping them, especially as new technological and operational trends emerge within the enterprise. Other firms are taking a more innovative approach and embracing the tectonic shifts happening within the IT landscape. In the past, IT movements were generally ignored by the boardroom because these projects were considered too technical, which meant that most employees were unaware of the direction of IT. The Big Data phenomenon has changed all of that.

Why bring data into the boardroom?
Businesses of all sizes and industries are quickly realizing that information is the key to success. Although this ideal has been reinforced in the past, the repercussions of not using data as a guide are becoming more widely understood.

Boardroom-level decision-makers used to base their expectations on gut feelings. Doing so was sometimes beneficial, especially when executives were highly experienced and aware of what was happening within their companies and competing firms; however, there was no effective way to guarantee their beliefs were accurate until it was too late to change their minds. Instead of following this antiquated approach to decision-making, executives can now use information to their advantage.

The digital world of today is fueled by a massive increase in available information because almost every activity carried out on a smartphone, tablet, or other computing device leaves a trail of data crumbs. By gathering these scraps of information and analyzing their trajectory, organizations can essentially predict the future and build strategies to maximize return on virtually any investment.

(more…) «Big Data Can Knock Down Technical Barriers in the Boardroom»

5 Ways Big Data Can Improve Your Business in 2014

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by

The concept of Big Data escapes many, but those who take the time to understand and use it benefit significantly. It’s predicted that Big Data will become huge in 2014, but companies that make business intelligence solutions a priority early in January will undoubtedly gain an edge over their competition. From data-based decisions to improving customer satisfaction, here are 5 ways Big Data can improve your business in 2014.

How big data will change your business in 2014

How Big Data will change your business in 2014

1. Access trends through social media
Big Data and the analytics that decipher it can easily zero in on a particular trend in social media and capitalize on it in ways that are advantageous to your business. Quobole uses the example of a location-based trend. That means a business can detect when a store is getting a notable amount of buzz on social media through unstructured data. Using that information, the business’s marketing team can then send out a blast on social media encouraging users to visit the store and give them an incentive to make a purchase. That’s just one example of capitalizing on social media trends with Big Data.

2. Rely less on gut feelings
In the past, many business decisions have been made based solely on instinct. Increasingly, however, companies are relying on data collected through market research or online trends. Big Data gives companies even more information to go on, enabling them to make business decisions that are more factually based and considerably less risky. If you have actual data, you can weigh real-life pros and cons before plunging into the deep end.

3. Stay ahead of the competition
Because Big Data is expected to go mainstream in the next year, businesses can get a head start on the competition by familiarizing themselves with business intelligence solutions. The sooner businesses start to use trends found by unstructured data, the larger head start they’ll have on the competition. It’s strategies like this that can turn underdog companies into market leaders and keep these top businesses at the forefront of their industry.

4. Make customers more satisfied
One of the biggest ways Big Data is changing businesses is by improving customer service. According to The Wall Street Journal, Netflix began using unstructured data for this purpose in 2008. After an outage, the company used the data to spot problem areas and improve the technology. It also used the data to inform the future viewing suggestions they offer customers. Big Data lets Netflix know where the most traffic is on their website and helps on-site engineers plan for better network capacity. Now, Netflix is a top company for on-demand Internet streaming.

(more…) «5 Ways Big Data Can Improve Your Business in 2014»

Big Data Holds Promise for Those Who Are Proactive

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 by

Companies are increasingly drawn to the Big Data market because of the potential benefits associated with embracing innovative information aggregation, management, storage, and analytics projects. This prospect has led organizations around the world to collect constantly expanding volumes of digital resources that promise to create opportunities to gain a competitive advantage, reduce costs, or improve overall operations.

Big data holds promise to those who are proactive

Big Data holds promise for those who are proactive

At the same time, however, many businesses have encountered unforeseen challenges in their race to collect large and complex data sets. Many of these issues derive from the fact that firms are simply gathering more information than they know how to handle, which is putting pressure on outdated infrastructure services and creating headache for the IT department and executives. Many enterprises overlook the fact that Big Data requires a specific management and organizational strategy, rather than simply an ad-hoc approach.

Understand what challenges lie ahead
Businesses that want to make the most out of Big Data must recognize which challenges will impact their bottom line and identify the steps that will allow their teams to overcome those obstacles. The truth is that databases are growing much faster than ever, which has led to new bottlenecks and other performance issues, including reduced processing speeds and the presence of unexpected costs associated with mitigating those problems.

Fortunately, building a Big Data strategy from the ground up can introduce new competitive opportunities without introducing unnecessary expenses or technical complications. Although a number of steps are required to construct these programs, business decision-makers should consider developing a new plan of action rather than relying on outdated philosophies that categorize storage as a dark and desolate vault that is virtually inaccessible.

Businesses now have an abundance of technologies at their fingertips, including cloud computing and sophisticated analytics, that allow employees to optimize operations without driving costs through the roof. The cloud in particular can be highly advantageous for Big Data storage purposes because of its scalable, on-demand nature. This approach lets companies continue their current trajectory and gather increasingly large volume of information without worrying about combating as many performance bottlenecks.

(more…) «Big Data Holds Promise for Those Who Are Proactive»

Quality Customer Service Requires Predictive, Real-Time Insight

Friday, December 13th, 2013 by

In today’s increasingly crowded and fast-paced business world, organizations are continually pressured to meet the rapidly evolving needs of prospective and existing customers. In many cases, embracing Big Data strategies will enable firms to collect large amounts of information, analyze those assets, and turn them into meaningful insights that will help build better relationships with customers, ensure retention, and enhance loyalty.

Quality customer service requires predictive, real-time insight

Quality customer service requires predictive, real-time insight

Businesses that don’t provide customers with a unique, holistic experience will feel the repercussions of not doing so faster than ever. The proliferation of social media and other highly collaborative web services gives consumers a booming voice over the Internet. This phenomenon is encouraging organizations to adopt more innovative customer service programs that allow decision-makers to understand what customers want before those demands are requested. The only way to achieve these capabilities is through the use of Big Data analytics.

The real-time necessity
Executives, Support staff, and other customer service representatives need the ability to identify poor experiences as quickly as possible because waiting too long and allowing customers to leave an interaction on a bad note can results in major long-term consequences. Although monitoring conversations between corporate employees and consumers can help decision-makers gain more insight into how their agents are handling queries, this practice doesn’t necessarily provide the time needed to make adjustments before it’s too late.

Rather than taking this traditional reactive approach, companies should become proactive. Launching predictive analytic initiatives to collect large volumes of data on prospective and existing customers can help identify current and future trends. This information gives decision-makers a unique perspective on what customers actually want, making it easier to meet (and hopefully exceed) expectations while developing a reputation for responsiveness, innovation, and ease of use.

Overcoming unforeseen hurdles
Big Data technologies hold the promise of gaining a deeper understanding of customer behavior. However, decision-makers must guard against being too ambitious by collecting every scrap of information available in the hope that a certain piece will provide insight into a certain process. Embracing Big Data in this way can potentially lead to performance and efficiency problems, even if a company uses cloud computing technologies to match the scalable needs of increasingly large and complex information sets.

(more…) «Quality Customer Service Requires Predictive, Real-Time Insight»