Big data in big business

BY: DR DAVID WALCOTT
Managing Partner and COO, Infiniti
Partnership Inc

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

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The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, spurring an entirely new business and social era. Tech Beach Retreat is on a mission to spark an entrepreneurship and innovation revolution in the Caribbean, ensuring we remain globally competitive. In order for this mission to be successful, a shift will have to occur and the region will need to revisit the way our people are trained and what they are trained in. Through this series, Tech Beach aims to open the conversation on various emerging technologies ahead of their flagship summit in Montego Bay, November 29-December 1, 2018.

The 21st century brings with it a hyper-connected world, with a flood of data created everyday through the interactions of billions of people using various devices. This brings significant opportunity to derive actionable insights from the data sets being generated, but also brings with it the challenge of being able to adjust our capacity process ever-growing quantities of data.

The promise of data-driven decision making is now being recognised broadly, and there is growing enthusiasm for the notion of 'big data', with the hope that organisations will be able to harvest and harness the right data and make the right decisions at the right time.

In large organisations, data are continually being created and stored, and the power of this data to such companies, lies in their ability to refine it through analysis to derive useful insights. From system management to web security, big data may provide large organisations with the ability to take a broad view of what is happening in the business environment, define customers and find ways to service the customers' specific needs. It is an engine that may boost the performance of large organisations, if the right information is harnessed in a stable, seamless, and sustainable way.

Big data enable the sourcing of data from machine logs, such as the web and social media platforms, operational and functional systems. Within the value chain, data platforms and warehouses allow for the capture and management of data, data conversion and help to structure it for further use. The critical component, however, is derived from tools that perform big data analytics to yield insights, informing actions after its analysis. Typically, such tools are used by managers, executives, analysts, and other stakeholders of the companies to access customer information, insights, models and manage their businesses.

One of the most valuable uses of big data in corporations is to understand the big picture and the existent relationships between variables. Large corporations find it easy to lose touch with rapidly changing consumer trends and patterns, and big data provides the means of quickly understanding a swiftly changing business environment.

It also allows for the extraction of key insights into the ways in which different variables relevant to their business interact and interrelate. Given the increasing availability of big data services, it has now become much more cost-effective to invest in these systems, which often have significant reverberating effects throughout the company's strategic orientation and bottom line.

We must embrace the role of big data, both in start-up companies and large enterprises, and harness its power in allowing our beloved Caribbean region to derive insights that will allow us to leapfrog our less nimble contemporary regions and rise to the frontiers of our boundless potential.


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