The Survey on the Big Data & Analytics summit by BA4ALL quotes: “34% of company’s take day to day strategic decisions based on data and analysis …… an additional 28% state data and analysis form the basis for any decision taking”. Intriguing figures that triggered BA4ALL to further explore Big Data and Analytics on their summit on May 19th. Over 190 participants attended the summit, with SAP as program partner. A careful selected mix of topics was clustered in an attractive agenda, highlighted by an interactive peer exchange session talking the role of the data warehouse within Big Data initiatives.
Talking to companies and experts, people quite quickly agree that Big Data is not only about big volumes, but especially about to ability to handle both structured and unstructured data. The latter placed in context is about unknown structures that even change over time. To cope with these ever changing structures, requires highly performant – in memory – platforms that are extremely agile towards modeling. The same people are as much in agreement when it comes to Analytics for Big Data. Large volumes and various unstructured sources of data are only of value when the accompanying analytical tools have the capabilities to provide insight on that data. Big Data and Analytics are thus “brothers in arms” and rely on each other.
A very interesting topic was the BARC survey findings on Big Data initiatives, presented by Dr. Carsten Bange. 2015 is definitely the year Big Data initiatives gain momentum: close to 40% of the responding companies is either implementing a Big Data initiative or has already Big Data initiatives running as core process. The initiatives appear to be driven by Management, ICT or BI competence centers. From a functional perspective Sales, Marketing and Finance are the key. The initiatives primarily address new – unstructured – data and large volumes, but also predictive modeling to discover patterns and interdependencies in data. The core challenges are on privacy and the internal know-how on analyzing the new data. All remarkable results that one more time confirm the inevitable relation between Big Data and Analytics. Some very nice examples on what Analytics can do on complex, large volume data can be found here.
The peer exchange session brought the attendees in small groups discussing data warehouses and its role within Big Data. This discussion was so interesting it requires a separate blog which you can find here shortly.
With the Big Data & Analytics Summit, BA4ALL served us a very well organized event with a rare mix of techniques, tools and practices.