What do I do with all that Data? How about more Storage with a Side of BI!

There is no doubt that business in 2012 is going to spend a lot of money securing and storing data that comes from multiple sources but once you have that data…what is being done with it?  Big Data is really broken into two parts the Storage and the Analytics of Data so what is being done with that 2.5 Quintillion Bytes of Data being retrieved EVERY DAY?

There are many “buzz words” associated with BI like Data Mining, Predictive Analytics and well the list seems to grow daily but what can a business really do with looking into all that data that they have amassed and build a real and actionable picture of what the best course of action should be?  According to IDC Research Manager Brian McDonough, ” the global business intelligence (BI) market to grow 9.7% this year to $10.8 billion, business analytics software-as-a-service (SaaS) is expected to grow three times faster than the total business analytics software market” so with $10.8 Billion on the table…is it really money well spent?

Gone are the days where one can expect to just store customer and competitor data and hope that you will find a use for it later.  The tools are out there to really place effective Dashboards and Reports into the hands of the people who not only have to make decisions but also need to be able to act upon the results.  Business Intelligence has taken a massive step to the democratization of Data and making the use, manipulation and reporting of trends, functions and the future a real possibility.

I pour through 10’s of Thousands of lines of unstructured Data everyday trying to make some sense out of Blog Posts, White Papers and Books but as good as I am…BI software is that much better…if used with a plan and that plan is followed through.

So to what end and what extent can an investment with IBM, SAP, Microsoft or any of the other companies looking for a piece of the BI Pie really help you make sense of all the information you have been gathering?  I say one thing…look to the source, focus on the Return on Investment and then build the requirements for a Business Analyst who will be able to start to function as the connection between the Data and the Business Operations Unit that they will likely function with.

To that end I actually downloaded the Pentaho Business Analytics Suite to see if it can make my life a little easier as I recently did a spot check on my current data usage and storage of data that I have pulled down in the last 8 months and ME as one Person now have approximately 850 GB of Unstructured Data floating in my personal “WEB” and to put that into perspective the U.S. Library of Congress has 1.53 Million Digital Archives freely available on the internet and their total storage is approximately 74 Terabytes…so in 1 year I have achieved approximately 1% of the collective information of the U.S Library of Congress…what the heck am I doing with all this stuff???

I will give the Pentaho Suite a solid run for its money in sorting through all of my data to find some new connections that I may not have seen and a full review should be coming early next week (as I will dive into the use over the weekend).

For now though…I can only say that when it comes to BI…the industry experts all say RUN, don’t WALK towards the implementation of a BI Strategy but rarely is there real meat behind what they are pushing but it boils down to understanding the Business you support and building a bridge for them to make the most use out of what can be harvested.

It is Hump Day and for me that means that I will be preparing some training materials for my Sales Colleagues on this topic so as much as I could continue to run on…I must run off.

 

Cheers,

Chris J Powell

Posted on January 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

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