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Getting Big Return from Big Data Projects Takes a Little Planning


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Only a small fraction of the potential is being met when it comes to big data projects, according to SiSense co-founder and CPO Elad Israeli, who will talk about what is needed to plan a big data project at Data Summit.

A majority of executives want to make their companies data-driven but have no idea how to go about it, and, according to research, general adoption of BI and big data analytics is shockingly poor, Israeli says. “This is often because traditionally solutions have been difficult to use and posed serious integration issues.”

Elad Israeli to Present “Five Questions You Should Ask Before Diving Into Your Big Data” 

Israeli will present “Five Questions You Should Ask Before Diving Into Your Big Data” during a session called “Planning Your Big Data Project” at Data Summit taking place in New York City, May 12-14.

Until recently, Israeli notes, there were not options that could handle structured and unstructured data, and provide both powerful analytics along with attractive visualizations. “We hear complaints from business users who were either stuck with a solution that provided beautiful visualizations with limited ability to analyze high volumes of data or the flip side – business users who couldn’t make heads or tails of powerful but complex legacy solutions and were tired of waiting for IT to respond each time they had to create a report.”

Businesses are thinking about planning big data projects now because don’t want to be left in the dust as their competitors figure out ways of drawing actionable insights and increasing profits by leveraging big data analytics, says Israeli. “Our customers are using analytics to prevent customer churn, increase revenue, prevent theft, track vaccines – a whole assortment of business goals. These days, even relatively small startups have exponentially growing amounts of data and they’re trying to get a handle on it.”

Big Data Projects Need a Solid Strategy

Despite the potential rewards, a solid strategy is needed before jumping into a big data project, Israeli cautions. “One item to consider as you map out your strategy is figuring out what problem you’re trying to solve or goal you’re trying to achieve. This may sound obvious but you’re be surprised how many people jump in without clearly defined objectives.  One should also take into account that, while the conversation around big data is often around petabytes, the vast majority of businesses use terabytes of data. Understand just how much data you’re dealing with, otherwise you might end up with a battleship when what you really need is a speedboat.”

In Israeli’s view, the industry is now nearing the “true dawn” of big data. “We see from our customers at SiSense that, when businesses are offered a way to tackle big data that is intuitive, doesn’t require coding or scripting knowledge, and enables both analytics and visualizations, adoption is fast and widespread. Companies like Trupanion [a pet insurance company] have spread a big data culture across the entire organization.”  

While Trupanion does not have a single data scientist on board, the company has successfully put big data in to the hands of nearly all their employees, Israeli says. “They use it for key metrics reporting, operational reporting, customer segmentation, financial reporting and forecasting. They even installed 13 television screens around their offices where they show dashboards relevant to each team.”

Israeli will expand on the key questions companies need to know before they dive into big data projects and the pitfalls to beware of, in his presentation at Data Summit, which takes place at the New York Hilton Midtown, May 12-14. For more information and to register, go to www.dbta.com/DataSummit/2014.


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