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Social Media Analytics – A spider web out of control?

I read an article ‘Social Intelligence: The New Frontier for Business Intelligence’ which I found interesting. In it, the author, Mark Perrett, Worldwide Social Intelligence Solution Development Leader for HP Enterprise, proposed that social intelligence will become a new frontier under the ever growing umbrella of data analytics. The author defined this term as “social intelligence provides deeper knowledge of customers by combining insights into customers’ social media behavior with traditional customer intelligence gleaned from conventional marketing and customer relationship management.” I’m not sure I would call this a new frontier although I do agree that the majority of companies are not addressing this as a business priority with everything else on their plates.

The question posed in my mind was a statement he made that “In many organizations, senior leaders are turning to their IT departments to get control of the volume of data and turn it into actionable insights. To help their organizations achieve their goals, IT teams need to learn how to aggregate, analyze and act upon insights found in social media streams.” I would fundamentally disagree with this statement. As a technical marketing person for too many years to count, although IT may need to set-up the technical framework, (the author views this process as a combination of traditional CRM, marketing, and social media communications), the analysis and determination of objectives and subsequent achievement of objectives would not be the responsibility of IT, it would be the ‘business group’. At least that has been the case in any marketing job I have ever held.

It is similar to a spider web where each spider silk is intertwined with the spider web itself holding it together. Regardless if it’s social intelligence, text analytics, Big Data, who is responsible in your organization or who would be responsible for identifying the ‘actionable insights’? The data ‘gatherer’ or the business owner? Do you think this should fall on IT?

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Another Tangent About Big Data

I realize I keep going off in tangents about Big Data but I really can’t stop myself. From a marketing perspective I am actually confused at all this media hype. Six months ago I read a blurb by an analyst who said most ‘C’ level management weren’t even sure what is really was. Now it is pervasive. From the articles, if you don’t have it you better get it ASAP. My question is why?

Not that I am doubting the value of Big Data regardless if referring to structured or unstructured, or both. We even have clients using our technology for unstructured content analytics. But I question that this is being rapidly adopted. I would surmise that many organizations have other business objectives to be achieved first. In our survey conducted in the last quarter of 2012, it appeared that from an unstructured approach, text analytics was not a high business priority.

In a recent blog by Ventana Research, entitled ‘Big Data is Broken Without Integration’ they reference their benchmark report on Big Data (available for purchase). Out of the highlights covered the two that struck me most was the ‘Barriers to Use Innovative Technology’ and ‘Barriers to Information Management’.

I need a sanity check. Is this a high priority in your organization? If so, why and where are you in the process?

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Big Data – Is it still in an embryonic stage?

Once again, big data in the news. Everyone is writing about it, but how many companies are doing it? Well, here’s some interesting scoop. In an article by Mark A. Smith from Ventana Research, they identified key technologies for competitive advantage in 2013. It is actually an interesting article. One of those areas was, of course, big data.

Let’s dig into this a little bit more. Ventana Research showed that 14% of businesses today are very satisfied with their existing big data technology. 28% of organizations said big data utilization has improved their business significantly. 44% of organizations surveyed found big data solutions too expensive.

What I found was interesting is that the research found that information management issues such as data governance, data integration, and data quality as it relates to big data was still in embryonic form in most organizations. I’m not sure how you can achieve the benefits of big data, with out the other components.

My question to those who are using big data, what about the information management issues? Is this an afterthought, or just not a concern? How can results be accurate or useful?

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