Transforming business fortunes with open and connected Big Data Analytics

 

The world of business has reached a tipping point. The markets are increasingly competitive, yet 80 percent of the companies vying for a share of this business have failed to fully embrace the world of digital information and Big Data. Future success in this brave new world is wholly dependent on businesses using predictive analysis and harvesting the vast amounts of data that are available. Only the top 5 percent of companies, in other words, the ones that are brave enough to embrace the power of transformation and harness the potential of Big Data will succeed. That was the message from Chris Rowe of EMC Greenplum. The ‘Big Daddy of Big Data’ didn’t pull any punches when he addressed the audience of enterprise delegates at this year’s Whitehall Media Big Data Analytics conference.

Companies that fail to fully embrace the change will ultimately fail unless they incorporate transformation and innovation into their business models. To prove the point, he cited the example of insurance company, Insurethebox. Mike Brockman the CEO of Insurethebox has managed to build the business from nothing and has now attracted over 100,000 clients in just two years. This success can be largely attributed to transformation. Brockman, like many of the switched on operators, realised that it was no longer business that set the market: it was in fact the markets that were outstripping business and setting the agenda. Distributed intelligence through new networks is now driving the markets. Therefore, he refused to base his business model on the traditional historic risk sampling methods used by his competitors, and opted for a more radical model using disruptive technology to accelerate transformation. Insurethebox policies are based on instant feedback and real-time risk, using Big Data analytics systems to determine an individual driver’s risk on individual journeys.

Why are these innovative businesses proving to be so successful? Well according to Chris Rowe it’s because they are not afraid of change, and are prepared to take risks. He argued that every business faces a triple challenge these days. How they respond to these challenges will determine how successful they will be. The challenge is often greater for existing businesses: most would like to increase volumes, but are encumbered by the technology they have at hand and by an ingrained unwillingness to change historic business models that were previously successful. Many would rather optimise what they have, then force change. New businesses carry no such baggage and are happy to use the power of disruptive technology to accelerate transformation. They understand that information is the new oil, and that the velocity of the market is greater than the velocity of the information that allows a company to change. They also appreciate that design is for emergence, whereas engineering, or optimising, is strictly for convergence.

How can businesses accelerate their ability to move the market with Big Data analytics? Rowe maintains that they will need to build openness and connectivity into their business models. What these new social computing models will look like will depend on the nature of the business and the sector of the market they operate in. However, all effective social computing models will incorporate the following features:

Self-service provisioning:
Consumers want instant gratification and are no longer prepared to wait for products and services. They want them now, and if this is not an option, then they will look elsewhere.

Choice:
Businesses are no longer satisfied with only having access to one level or type of data structure. They want access to every form of data structure that will benefit the business and they want it in real-time.

Experimentation:
Businesses want to have the ability to be use and mix all different types of analytics programmes so that they can produce a variety of business insights.

Participation:
Modern businesses need access to the power of crowd innovation through social interaction. This power of participation, or power of the crowd, needs to be built into the social environment and created around the analytics.