The ability for organisations to predict the future requires a shift away from statistical and descriptive ways of looking at data, towards considering events and interactions. Applying contextual analytics to these events and interactions allows organisations to investigate modes of behaviour, intentions, situations, and influences, ensuring that positive predictions are fulfilled and that negative outcomes are avoided.
Vast amounts of money are being spent by organisations on the creation of data ecosystems, enabling them to capture, store, and archive, large volumes of data at an unprecedented scale, in a cost-efficient manner. They are responding to the headlines about Big Data, but unfortunately many end up with fragmented architectures and data silos that thwart their ability to interrogate data and create value.
Gartner predicts that by 2018, 70 per cent of Hadoop deployments will fail to meet cost savings and revenue-generation objectives due to skills and integration challenges.
Should data ecosystems be built?
The answer is firmly “yes”. The age of infrastructure opened the door to the use of analytics for extracting value from data. Essentially, the resulting insights make business decisions more accurate and intelligent. Now it is the business team and not the IT department that leads data and analytics initiatives, demanding more value from data-plus-insights capable of creating commercial opportunities and solving problems.
It must be recognised that the value of storing and organising data depends on what you do with it. Business teams want to ask questions that cross data silos; questions that account for customer, product, channel, and marketing in combination. This amounts to a fundamental realignment of priorities and means that in future, many of our data professionals will no longer be technical specialists. Instead, they will be business-focused individuals using data, analytics, and technology as key enablers.
Unsurprisingly, the monetisation of data and analytics will be a big differentiator. Gartner’s strategic prediction states that by 2018, more than half of large, global organisations will compete using advanced analytics and proprietary algorithms, causing the disruption of entire industries.
Without an underlying strategic framework – the organisation, the people, the processes, and the execution – businesses will drown in data. Only a judicial mix of analytics can help business leaders make decisions with confidence and intelligence, and sharpen the competitive edge.