Big Data, faster infrastructure, falling costs, mobility and social media - CIOs say these IT trends are transforming how their companies process data to gain valuable business intelligence.
Advances in analytic technologies and business intelligence are allowing IT leaders to go big, go fast, go deep, go cheap and go mobile with business data.
Current trends center as much on tackling analytics challenges as they do on taking advantage of opportunities for new business insights. For example, technologies for managing and analysing large, diverse data sets are arriving just as many organisations are drowning in data and struggling to make sense of it. Still, many of the cost and performance trends in advanced analytics mean companies can ask more complicated questions than ever before and deliver more useful information to help run their businesses.
In interviews, CIOs consistently identified five IT trends that are having an impact on how they deliver analytics: the rise of Big Data, technologies for faster processing, declining costs for IT commodities, proliferating mobile devices and social media.
1. Big Data
Big Data refers to very large data sets, particularly those not neatly organised to fit into a traditional data warehouse. Web crawler data, social media feeds and server logs, as well as data from supply chain, industrial, environmental and surveillance sensors all make corporate data more complex than it used to be.
Although not every company needs techniques and technologies for handling large, unstructured data sets, Verisk Analytics CIO Perry Rotella thinks all CIOs should be looking at Big Data analytics tools. Verisk, which helps financial firms assess risk and works with insurance companies to identify fraud in claims data, had revenues of more than $1 billion in 2010.
Technology leaders should adopt the attitude that more data is better and embrace overwhelming quantities of it, says Rotella, whose business involves "looking for patterns and correlations between things that you don't know up front."
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