Every single day we, as a connected – mobile – workforce, are creating vast amounts of data. In fact, a recent Cisco report indicates that by 2020, data center storage installed capacity will grow to 1.8 ZB, up from 382 EB in 2015, nearly a 5-fold growth. The world is becoming more connected; and it’s creating a lot of data.
The important point here is that this data isn’t benign. It’s valuable, can help create market insight, and can help organizations create real-world competitive advantages. Gartner recently pointed out that data and analytics will drive modern business operations, and not simply reflect their performance.
Furthermore, executives will make data and analytics part of the business strategy, which will allow data and analytics professionals to assume new roles and create business growth. Shifting the way organization uses data and analytics more toward driving business operations requires a new approach to data architectures, which many organizations are already building. Last year, Gartner research found that 45% of IT professionals had indicated that new data and analytics projects were in the “design” and “select” phases.
Finally, a new update to IDC’s Big Data and Analytics Guide now forecasts worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics (BDA) will reach $150.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 12.4% over 2016. Commercial purchases of BDA-related hardware, software, and services are expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9% through 2020 when revenues will be more than $210 billion.
"After years of traversing the adoption S-curve, big data and business analytics solutions have finally hit mainstream," said Dan Vesset, group vice president, Analytic s and Information Management. "BDA as an enabler of decision support and decision automation is now firmly on the radar of top executives. This category of solutions is also one of the key pillars of enabling digital transformation efforts across industries and business processes globally."
Finally, as the latest Cisco Cloud Index report indicates, driven by the Internet of Things, the total amount of data created (and not necessarily stored) by any device will reach 600 ZB per year by 2020. This is up from 145 ZB per year in 2015. In fact, data created is two orders of magnitude higher than data stored.
Why You Should Care
Organizations across all verticals and sizes are finding new ways to leverage data. This is information about products, people, infrastructure, and the overall market. Big data initiatives are helping organizations make business decisions; allowing them to shift dynamically with the market. So – if you have a lot of data within your ecosystem, it’s time to start mining for value.
Data isn’t benign, it can tell a story—and help evolve a business.
Oftentimes, we don’t even realize just how much information we’re creating. Emails, spreadsheets, sales data, recorded phone conversations, and even proximity-based Bluetooth data can tell you so much. Are sales being effective? Are you flagging down the right users? Are you going to market with the right services? Information can be correlated to help an organization understand where their business is making an impact and where it isn’t. Most of all – you can leverage vast amounts of data to better support emerging business initiatives.
User data can help with user experiences and better services.
Today’s business is highly distributed. This means users are remote and that data could be residing in different places. Successful organizations leverage information to better understand products, services, and even customer interaction. Most of all – they’re able to learn how to improve those processes and services. Imagine being able to fix UX performance issues before the actually impact the customer. Leveraging data and understanding how users interact with apps and services allows business and IT leaders to understand the very valuable user interaction process. Basically, you’re leveraging data analytics to create proactive business processes; capable of responding to market and user demands.
Do you know where your data is stored and how it’s secured?
Big data is getting bigger, and much more valuable to both you and the bad guys. Research from Juniper recently suggested that the rapid digitization of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, increasing to almost four times the estimated cost of breaches in 2015. So, as data continues to grow within organizations, not only must it be leveraged – we should also protect it. We’ve seen some massive data breaches happen recently. These types of attacks will only continue to increase. So, as you work with your own data points and create big data initiatives, you’ll need to ensure best practices around data security. This means enabling access best practices, locking down and segmenting your network, and controlling how and where data is distributed.
Moving forward, data analytics and big data initiatives will become the norm. "We are at an inflection point as digital transformation efforts shift from 'project' or 'initiative' status to strategic business imperative," said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. "Every (growing) enterprise, regardless of age or industry, must become 'digital native' in the way its executives and employees think, what they produce, and how they operate.”
Becoming a digitally native organization means understanding the value of data and how it can be applied to improve processes. Too often we just leave these valuable repositories untouched and unmined. Those organizations which can capture both structured and unstructured data points will have an intimate understanding of their business; and how to compete in an ever-evolving digital world.