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Big data – enabling better business decisions (The Lansdowne Hotel, London)

21 June 2012, Networking Seminar

Big data isn't just the next big buzzword, but a real opportunity for organisations right across the sector divide, both the public and private sector, to use the information that flows through the organisation to make better business decisions.

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In recent years NCC, through the Benchmark of IT Spending & Strategy 2011, has highlighted the strategic interest in analytics tools and business intelligence platforms. So, big data isn’t just the next big buzzword, but a real opportunity for organisations right across the sector divide – public and private sector – to use the information that flows through the organisation to make better business decisions.

Everyday, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created…and just to put this into perspective, 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years. This data comes from everywhere: from banking and financial transactions; footage from CCTV cameras; posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites; digital pictures and videos posted online; transaction records of online purchases; and GPS signals from mobile devices – and these are just a few of the sources. This data is big data and spans three dimensions: variety, velocity and volume.

  • Variety – big data extends beyond structured data and includes unstructured data of all varieties: text, audio, video, click streams, log files and more.
  • Velocity – often time-sensitive, big data must be used as it is streaming into the enterprise in order to maximise its value to the business.
  • Volume – big data comes in one size...large. All enterprises are awash with data, and can easily amass terabytes and even petabytes of information.

Big data is more than a challenge; it is an opportunity to find insight in new and emerging types of data, to make your business more agile, and to answer questions that, in the past, were beyond reach. Until now, there was no practical way to harvest this opportunity. Big data opens the door to a world of possibilities.

One in three business leaders frequently make decisions without the information they need and half don't have access to the information they need to do their jobs. That has significant implications for the business, as the onus on IT is to leverage data. Establishing a centre of excellence makes sense, because big data requires a different approach to data analytics, compared with traditional business intelligence (BI).

Is big data expensive?

Big firms will have the big budgets to run big data projects. But big data can be achieved with more affordable IT. Most large enterprises have been running enterprise applications and customer relationship management (CRM) long enough to have aggregated a critical mass of data in those applications. While it may seem that huge scientific projects, winning gameshows and medical research fit in naturally with big data analytics, there is no reason why smaller organisations and those that may not see themselves at the cutting edge of IT cannot benefit. There is a huge opportunity in big data at smaller companies with cloud computing.

One of the really interesting things is the ability for smaller businesses to access applications that are available in the cloud, particularly in the sense of marketing and e-commerce.

One thing that most of the experts agree on is that big data offers a big opportunity for businesses.

Venue: The Lansdowne Hotel, Mayfair, London

9 Fitzmaurice Place, Mayfair, London W1J 5JD


9.00 Registration – tea & coffee
9.30 Introduction
  Ian Jones, NCC
9.40 What is big data?

David Doyle, vice president, head of business analytics, Capgemini

What is big data? Data volume is not the defining feature – a small organisation’s big data can be no bigger than a multinational’s regular transaction load. Nor are the processes involved in big data completely novel. What is arguably most distinctive about the concept is that businesses view all the data available to them as an integrated whole that is a source of business value. The game-changing aspect of big data lies in using data from beyond the firewall to derive new insights, often in real time or near real time.

10.15 Big data & analytics: new data sources create transformation opportunities

Mike Davis, principal analyst

Applying analytics to social media, machine-to-machine and location data will create new business opportunities and drive new investment in business intelligence and data warehousing infrastructure. However, only the organisations using big data and analytics in a transformative way will realise substantial benefits. Increasingly, organisations will engage directly with their markets and constituencies through the vehicle of social media, rather than via more traditional marketing or marketing services agencies.

10.45 Break
11.15 Big data – the opportunity for business growth

Nigel Lewis, business analytics lead, Capgemini

In this session, we will discuss what can be achieved through a more strategic approach to big data, presenting tips on how best to overcome deployment challenges and explaining the various consumption models which help users to choose the right set of services, support and architecture.

11.45 Managing data in the era of the cloud – information governance

Siân John, security strategist, Symantec

Managing data in the era of cloud computing will transform the way we protect data in the future. As servers and storage get virtualised or as resources move to the cloud and more mobile devices proliferate businesses, understand how to ensure you have all your bases covered while actually reducing the risks associated with information management.

12.15 Panel discussion
13.15 Lunch & networking
14.00 Close

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