5 Big Data Use Cases To Watch - InformationWeek

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5/7/2014
09:06 AM
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5 Big Data Use Cases To Watch

Here's how companies are turning big data into decision-making power on customers, security, and more.

10 Hadoop Hardware Leaders
10 Hadoop Hardware Leaders
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

We hear a lot about big data's ability to deliver usable insights -- but what does this mean exactly?

It's often unclear how enterprises are using big-data technologies beyond proof-of-concept projects. Some of this might be a byproduct of corporate secrecy. Many big-data pioneers don't want to reveal how they're implementing Hadoop and related technologies for fear that doing so might eliminate a competitive advantage, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Certainly the market for Hadoop and NoSQL software and services is growing rapidly. A September 2013 study by open-source research firm Wikibon, for instance, forecasts an annual big-data software growth rate of 45% through 2017.

[Digital business demands are bringing marketing and IT departments even closer. Read Digital Business Skills: Most Wanted List.]

According to Quentin Gallivan, CEO of big-data analytics provider Pentaho, the market is at a "tipping point" as big-data platforms move beyond the experimentation phase and begin doing real work. "It's why you're starting to see investments coming into the big-data space -- because it's becoming more impactful and real," Gallivan told InformationWeek in a phone interview. "There are five use cases we see that are most popular."

Here they are:

1. A 360 degree view of the customer
This use is most popular, according to Gallivan. Online retailers want to find out what shoppers are doing on their sites -- what pages they visit, where they linger, how long they stay, and when they leave.

"That's all unstructured clickstream data," said Gallivan. "Pentaho takes that and blends it with transaction data, which is very structured data that sits in our customers' ERP [business management] system that says what the customers actually bought."

A third big-source, social media sentiment, also is tossed into the mix, providing the desired 360 degree view of the customer. "So when [retailers] make target offers directly to their customers, they not only know what the customer bought in the past, but also what the customer's behavior pattern is… as well as sentiment analysis from social media."

2. Internet of Things
The second most popular use case involves IoT-connected devices managed by hardware, sensor, and information security companies. "These devices are

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Jeff Bertolucci is a technology journalist in Los Angeles who writes mostly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Saturday Evening Post, and InformationWeek. View Full Bio

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KKring
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KKring,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2014 | 1:19:08 AM
Big Data is great, but many don't know what to do with it
Big Data is great.  But so many don't know how to fully leverage it.  How does all of the data fit together?

One challenge is that most business schools, teach business in silos. Marketing, finance and operational silos. Once you get to their graduate programs, they teach in deeper versions of each silo. Business silos are great, for the efficiencies they bring. You can't get those efficiencies any other way. But business cuts across silos to get actual work done. 

What we should do is teach the collectors of data, the analyzers of data and the end users of data how it all fits together.  When you know how it all fits together, you are better able to determine how to best utilize your resources.  Without knowing how it all fits together, you are left with a disjointed series of data points that can confound people and at its worst, damage the company by making decisions based on an incomplete picture of what is going on.

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140426140918-7115569-big-data-great-now-what-do-we-do-with-it
HM
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HM,
User Rank: Moderator
5/8/2014 | 2:15:58 PM
HPCC
Jeff, very insightful Big Data article. Many uses of big data have a measurable positive impact on outcomes and productivity. Areas such as record linkage, graph analytics, deep learning and machine learning have demonstrated being critical to help fight crime, reduce fraud, waste and abuse in the tax and healthcare systems, combat identity theft and fraud, and many other aspects that help society as a whole. It is worth mentioning the HPCC Systems open source offering which provides a single platform that is easy to install, manage and code. Their built-in analytics libraries for Machine Learning and integration tools with Pentaho for great BI capabilities make it easy for users to analyze Big Data. Their free online introductory courses allow for students, academia and other developers to quickly get started. For more info visit: hpccsystems.com
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