In my last blog I discussed how “Big Data” was making the analytic professional’s job even harder. This time round I’ve got Technology in my cross-hairs!
Let’s be honest, Technology professionals have historically had a hard time understanding the field of analytics. They would normally approach this as if they were building an operational application and send a Business Analyst to dutifully gather some business requirements and the conversation would go something like this:
Technology: “Hello, I’ve just been assigned to your project – what’s your business requirement?”
Analytics guy: “I need to build a model to predict something (churn, cross-sale, probability of default, expected customer value etc.)”
Technology: “Ok – I’m here to help(!) Please tell me the data that you require”
Analytics guy: “I don’t know, that’s the whole point of building a model – to find out what data will help predict this outcome”
Technology: “But we can’t start development until you write down all of your data requirements”
Analytics guy: “In that case I need all the data, for ever!”
This Technology nightmare just got worse, not only does ‘all the data, for ever’ now include multi-structured data like web-logs and text sources but the requirement just got exponentially tougher:
“I need all analytics on all the data, for ever” where ‘all analytics’ includes ‘Big Data’ Analytics like Graph Analysis and Text Mining.
No single technology can deliver on this requirement (as you would have heard on the latest Teradata webinar – Hadoop and the Data Warehouse: When to Use Which), so Technology need to assemble the components in such a way that offers the analytical community a seamless, integrated environment to work with.
The integration between these disparate technologies will be a key enabler to allow organisations to create insights rapidly.
The other challenge is how to ensure that the organisation’s ability to act on these insights does not become the bottleneck. As Jack Welch said “An organisation’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage”
So the final piece of the puzzle for Technology to solve is the deployment of analytics into business processes and customer interaction points. If an organisation can solve this as well as ‘all analytics on all the data, for ever’ they will create a real source of competitive advantage which will be difficult for their competitors to recreate.
Mark Hunter is a Financial Services Industry Consultant with Teradata Australia & New Zealand. Mark has 15 years of banking experience gained in the UK and Asia. He has extensive experience in developing analytical capability to drive data-led decisions. He has worked across the entire customer lifecycle with specialist knowledge in Marketing and Risk. You can also follow Mark on twitter @Mark_Hunter_Mel