Skip to main content

It's time to ask the right questions about big data in your business

John Morton, big data advisor and former regional CTO of SAS spoke at Internet World 2014 about how wise organisations are building new business models around the big data revolution. Here are the highlights of his keynote.

We all know what the CEO's looking for: growth, sustaining the business, reducing costs and doing more to compete in the marketplace.

But every time we add more and more in investment, we also bring greater costs in terms of finance, workload, compliance risks and of course security. So how can we do more with what we've got?

A lot of companies have aggregated information and found missed opportunities and wasted effort in their operation. Simple changes within the organisation, within their system and processes, can allow you to take advantage of big data. But you have to be aware of the quality of data.

Usually when you use data, you have to observe, orient, decide and then at. Big data brings better decision making, and faster decision making, which gives you a competitive advantage. The problem is, a lot of your competitors are already putting plans into place to implement these policies and chase you.

I spoke to one company that took a month to move from observing data to acting on it. The key thing for management is that as you start automating some of the decisions based on data, management can start employing strategy, and not taking up time with the daily churn on an on-the-fly basis.

Big data is about creating revenue streams for your business. So how do you integrate it into your business? You can have all of your islands of data operating independent of each other, but that has a cost in interoperability.

Other talk about a "centre of excellence" across the business, but that creates a lot of infighting over resources. The challenge is changing the mindset of the board. It's time for the CEO, the CIO, the COO and the CMO to come together and integrate data at every level of the organisation.

Big data can affect every part of your business, but if you can't explain exactly why you need it and exactly what you want to get out of it in every area, then you might as well not do it. Big data has to be a sustainable delivery project, and it's time to be asking the right questions around big data in your business.

At Internet World 2014, thousands of IT, technology and digital marketing professionals are discovering cutting-edge technology innovations and strategies to drive their organisation's success.

Check out our full breakdown of what not to miss at Internet World 2014.