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Pursuing a big data vision: key considerations

According to Gartner, by 2020, data from nearly 38.5 billion Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices will be available for companies to analyse. 

For forward-thinking businesses that are already harnessing the power of big data, the benefits are endless, enabling real-time adjustments, highly responsive business models and a new pipeline of revenue streams.

For small to medium sized businesses that are looking to integrate big data to guide their next stage of growth, the first step is to understand the maturity of your organisation from an analytics perspective and evaluate the potential risks and barriers to a successful deployment of a big data analytics platform.

Making informed decisions about the adoption of big data technology, within the context of an overall enterprise application renovation strategy, will guide the transition for a successful implementation.

Decision makers need to assess the potential risks and barriers to a successful deployment and understand how to mitigate those risks – any transition to big data should not be done in a vacuum.

Business leaders should firstly analyse and understand the real motivating factors for transitioning to big data.

Here are some key considerations when planning to transition to big data: 

  • Strategy, including objectives for legacy phase-out, training, and managing the learning curve for team members over the transition period
  • Costs, such as costs by data volume, costs to scale, operating costs, and the costs associated with configuration, management, and ongoing maintenance
  • Performance, such as query performance, system scalability, data load speeds, data volume capacity, and the ability to manage mixed workloads
  • Capabilities, including support for advanced analytics, simplicity in data accessibility, reporting, support for SQL, support for structured and unstructured data models, and high availability
  • Platform independence, allowing for deployment on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid model

It is essential to also recognise that data integration and accessibility is a critical component to a big data vision.

Businesses should assess the data integration challenges and consider the use of tools that provide a unified method for Business Intelligence/Analytics applications to gain access to a broad spectrum of data sources, regardless of where those data sources might reside, whether that is in the cloud, within the enterprise, or even behind a firewall.

A successful big data initiative requires business leaders to make informed decisions about the adoption of big data within the context of an overall enterprise application renovation strategy, which will be the key to successful incorporation and deployment.

The end results can see businesses transform their customer relationships, increase sales, pursue more efficient operations and improve customer service.

About the author

Craig Law is the Managing Director (ANZ) of global app development company Progress . He has over a decade of technical experience working across Australia and Japan, having worked previously at Melbourne Water and Oracle Corporation.

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