What big data trends will be making the headlines in 2013?

It you believe that the winner of the Thanksgiving weekend-shopping bonanza was retail then think again. There may have been a record number of online sales on Black Friday in the U.S and on Mega Monday on this side of the pond, but the real winner, according to Darryl McDonald, executive vice president Applications, Business Development & CMO for Teradata, was big data. In fact the true importance of the weekend was that it simply underscored the impact that big data and deep analytics have on retail. Sales may have surpassed expectations but what is clear is that data-rich e-commerce was the biggest winner of all. But where does big data go from here? After such a resounding success how will big data continue to impact on the business landscape in 2013?

Big data influence will expand beyond the marketplace

Technology and data now permeate enterprise. As big data analysis tools, techniques and processes become more and more sophisticated, organisations will discover new ways in which they can act on, and take advantage of, the information they gather. McDonald believes these predicted impacts will be huge, not just in a business sense but for society in general. Teradata believes that big data will have a significant impact way beyond the marketplace and could ultimately help to create a better and healthier world. By this it means a world where much-needed medicines are delivered more quickly to the people in most need, and where more effective and efficient global communication can help to avert disasters and famines. Teradata quote the role of big data before, during and after Hurricane Sandy as an example of that very point.

Improved collaboration and integration

The successful impact of big data in other areas and sectors will only happen if collaboration and integration significantly improve across data sources. Teradata argues that both internal and external processes will have to be analysed and evaluated in order to identify synergies which have the potential to add value. McDonald quotes as an example the activities of the online auction site, eBay. eBay used big data analytics to overcome complexity and saved millions of dollars on IT infrastructure costs in the process.

Better and more targeted insights

In 2013, the need to talk about the definition of big data and its importance will be irrelevant. That particular debate has been done to death. McDonald believes the conversation will rather switch to focusing all the attention on how businesses can make this data work for them, and how they can use the information to maximise their revenue streams. Enterprises will want to know which data matters most, and how this information is best applied. The essence of big data and its true value lies in the fact that it improves decision-making by making a greater amount of information available: the more we know, the better the decisions we are likely to make.

Mobile and tablet devices

McDonald believes that as soon as mobile advertising executives get to grips with big data analytics, the market will explode. New data processing techniques and analytics will ultimately deliver what the advertising market has longed for – information on how to find the audiences that are most likely to convert and buy products based on geo-location information and buying behaviour. As data processing capabilities improve, marketing will get smarter: in turn, consumers will increasingly expect a new kind of customer experience, based around personalized, relevant messaging.

Increased scrutiny of privacy issues

The issue of who owns the data generated by smartphones, iPads, online searches and credit card purchases has been debated long and hard. Unfortunately no one has as yet come up with a definitive answer. That doesn’t mean organisations haven’t tried: new guideline regulations have been introduced by the FTC, the Canadian Anti-Spam law and the EU e-privacy directive, but all they appear to have done is raise more questions than they answered. McDonald believes that businesses will need to be proactive, and adjust their practices to maintain compliance and retain consumer trust. This will prove to be a particularly tough challenge given how public confidence in public and private institutions has plummeted over the last few years.