Big Data Analytics is making big headlines these days. Just check out a few from recent past:
- Big Data — Big Money Says It Is A Paradigm Buster – Forbes.com
- For Start-Ups That Aim at Giants, Sorting the Data Cloud Is the Next Big Thing – The New York Times
- Accel Makes Big Commitment To Big Data With $100M Fund – The Wall Street Journal
- Five startup predictions for 2012 – c|net
- Big Data: Investments Flow into the Next Big Thing – a great post by Dick Weisinger
So what is Big Data and why it is in the news so much these days?
According to Philip Russom, Director of TDWI Research, Big Data has three defining attributes – three Vs as he calls them. They are Data Volume, Data Variety and Data Velocity and together they constitute a comprehensive definition of Big Data. So Big Data is not just about Data Volume, but also the variety of data (mostly unstructured) and the velocity with which the data is generated and need to be analyzed. (for more, check out following posts by Philip Russom and the TDWI Best Practices Report titled Big Data Analytics):
- Big Data Analytics: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- The Three Vs of Big Data Analytics: VOLUME
- The Three Vs of Big Data Analytics: VARIETY
- The Three Vs of Big Data Analytics: VELOCITY
Given three Vs of Big Data, ‘traditional’ data storage, retrieval and analytics methodologies are no longer going to work. Cloud Computing is going to play a key role when it comes to Big Data Management and Analytics. And here in lies the opportunity for Outsourcing companies.
Traditionally, data collected by organizations is ‘safely’ stored in massive relational database accessible to only few within the organization and requires elaborate infrastructure both in terms of hardware and software for storage, retrieval and reporting/analytics. In such an environment, it is not possible to easily outsource Data Analytics function/processes alone given the heavy investments made in terms of hardware and software.
Because of the business requirement of analyzing vast amount of ever changing structured and unstructured Big Data almost instantaneously, companies will be hard pressed to do this on their own. But given the fact that Big Data stored in cloud can be accessed from anywhere the internet is available and can be analysed almost instantaneously by third party service providers, outsourcing companies can offer to their clients value added services in the area of Big Data analytics without heavy investments on the part of clients in specialized hardware and software as was the case with ‘traditional’ data analytics. This will bring down significantly costs (especially fixed costs) associated with building and maintaining analytics infrastructure and solution center.
Just to give an example in the area of Social CRM, Social Media has empowered customers like never before as they can discuss about brands/products on Social Media channels. The best any marketer can do is to Listen, Learn and Engage customers. Given the three Vs of Big ‘Social’ data and the fact that most of the user generated content resides in the cloud, outsourcing companies can offer cost effective analytics solution to their clients to enable them effectively engage their customers/prospects in real time.
What do you think? Do you agree that Big Data Analytics is The Next Big Opportunity for Outsourcing Companies? Look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments: