Discover Performance

HP Software's community for IT leaders // October 2013

Before a big data ‘solution,’ you need a strategy

Conquer the complexities of advanced analytics with a strategic perspective—and start with a free ebook.

The bottom line

What: You need a strategy for big data analytics.
Why: Analytics is a fast-developing field, and you’ll chart a flexible, learn-as-you-go course, which requires a guiding vision.
More:  Sign in or register to download our free ebook, Connecting Data for New Business Insight

Companies are overwhelmed with data, and employees often don't even know where to find the answers they know they need, much less how to ask new questions that could lead to new products, better services, and profitable innovations. Even when you employ some kind of "big data solution," are you really getting full value, or, as with so many IT point solutions, are you using a minimal amount of features that barely scrape the surface of what's possible?

Big data is not something to be addressed in a piecemeal way.  It requires a comprehensive strategy with an eye on the bottom line, and the first thing to realize is that "big data" is about more than size. Volume is only one of four core challenges “big data” brings to your enterprise. Just as vexing are the others:

  • Variety—Data now comes in many forms: machine data, business data, and “human information,” which is unstructured text and rich media created in blogs and other social media sites.
  • Velocity—The speed at which new information is generated—and the speed at which you must act on the data to compete—require techniques and tools that let you analyze and act on data in near real time.
  • Vulnerability—A significant portion of your information may contain sensitive corporate or constituent data that must be safeguarded and made accessible only to those with clearance to access it.

With a clear understanding of these four Vs, you can devise a big data strategy that encompasses many services and functions and integrates them with business objectives. Unifying IT and business goals may be old news to you, but companies around the world still miss this crucial point, says Kevin Withnall, a director at global IT research firm Vanson Bourne. “The advantage of successful big data exploitation can only be achieved if IT and the business work together.” But, he adds, “it’s the minority of companies that get this.”

A chance to take the lead

Big data is often positioned as a problem, but more data is better—if you know what to do with it, and how to extract actionable insight from it. As Steven O’Hanlon, CEO and president of Numerix, a provider of analytics for derivatives and structured products, told European CEO magazine, “The fascination with big data in the financial community has spurred perhaps the foremost industry development of the past two years and will no doubt continue to do so for the near future.”

No matter your industry, the opportunity to connect disparate data sets to gain new insight—and to act quickly on that knowledge—will make your business smarter and more profitable than ever. HP has designed the HAVEn platform to help you deal holistically with disparate data sources, process insights at the speed of conversation, and start quickly with the capabilities your business needs.  But before you implement any “solution” to your data situation, you need a strategy.

Formulating your big data strategy

Your analytics strategy, like your overall approach to IT, needs to align with the goals that drive a better bottom line. Start formulating your strategy by considering:

  • What your business needs to know: What questions would immediately improve business results if you could draw the answers from your structured and unstructured data?
  • How analytics can improve IT performance: Where could performance meltdowns be mitigated (or predicted and avoided) if you had cutting-edge operations analytics?
  • How are you managing data risk?  Is your data, and the applications and networks that access it, secure? Are you governing it in compliance with industry and government regulations?

These issues and more are covered in Discover Performance’s new, free ebook. We look at the potential of big data analytics, with use cases that point the way to success and key questions that can help you dodge pitfalls.

For a full perspective on formulating a big data strategy for your enterprise, sign in or register now to download our free, original ebook, “Connecting Data for New Business Insight.”


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