The Insight-Driven Animal House [Big Data Cheat-Sheet]

Animal House

  • SMB’s Investing More in Big Data
  • Now, Just How Big is this Data?
  • Is it a Warm Pool or a Scary Data Dump?
  • The Insight-Driven Animal House
  • Big Data Cheat-Sheet
  • Accelerate & Engage with True 100% HA Cloud

SMB’S Investing More in Big Data

According to analyst outfits the SMB Group, less than 1 in 5 small businesses (18%) and a slight majority of midsize firms (57%) benefit from what many consider to be the biggest fruits of cloud computing, big data analytic insights.

What is going on with the businesses that are not adopting this technology? Are they making a wise choice not to invest until the industry is better established, or are they falling dangerously far behind their competition? Well, as you get more granular, it’s obvious that refined, laser-sharp intelligence is more critical in certain industries than others. Plus, even though cloud computing has made sophisticated solutions more accessible, small companies may not feel they have the money available for a test project. Others might not feel that they have adequate expertise or additional funds for consultants.

There’s a common misconception held by many small business owners and managers that big data is too technologically sophisticated or expensive for the organization. However, it is not really as complicated as it first seems, and the reward can be a significant competitive advantage.

Now, Just How Big is this Data?

There are 17 officially recognized sectors within the United States market. Already back in 2011, in 15 of those 17, large enterprises retained an average of 235 TB of information – more than the entirety of the US Library of Congress. Let me repeat that: already a few years ago, the average American company with a staff of 1000+ individually possessed more data than the organization established by the federal government to retain all critical knowledge – the largest library in the world.

“Reams of data still flow from financial transactions and customer interactions but also cascade in at unparalleled rates from new devices and multiple points along the value chain,” explains a 2011 McKinsey report. “[S]ensors embedded in process machinery may be collecting operations data, while marketers scan social media or use location data from smartphones to understand teens’ buying quirks.”

Fast-forward to today, and we see that despite the reluctance from many smaller firms and a fair portion of midsize ones, investment in data projects averages $7.4 million for 2015, with enterprises alotting $13.8 million and SMBs spending $1.6 million on average.

Is it a Warm Pool or a Scary Data Dump?

How accessible has big data become? Some tools are now free. Obviously you can invest more and get more sophisticated, but this field is far from impenetrable.

What if you were to take all of your available data and use it to guide decisions made by your employees as they go about daily business?

By using these tools, says technologist John Mason, “smaller businesses can take advantage of their speed and customer proximity and, combined with new data insights, really be game [changers].”

As of 2013, especially since the third platform has developed, with mobile and the Internet of Things propelled forward by cloud computing, the IT systems across the planet are creating over 2.5 billion GB of information daily.

That data may be better growth fuel than anything else. Your data can be structured (database info) or unstructured (live chat transcripts, Facebook interaction). In order to make your data actionable, you need analytics – whether developed by a data scientist specifically for your organization or using analytics programs produced by vendors.

The Insight-Driven Animal House

A great example of data analytics working at a firm with under 100 employees is the success of the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium of Tacoma, Washington.

“The zoo used big-data analytics to uncover patterns and trends in its data to help drive its ticket sales and enhance visitor experiences,” notes Mason. “As a result, Point Defiance Zoo’s online ticket sales grew more than 700 percent in one year.”

Big Data Cheat-Sheet for SMBs

If you want to build a system to analyze big data using a cloud computing virtual machine, here is a quick cheat-sheet:

  • Set a plan. What resources do you have, what do you need, and what are your objectives, both broad and granular?
  • Get an overview of your info. You want to figure out what you have. Assessment is key. List everything. You just want an inventory.
  • Categorize in terms of value. What data could give you the most important insight?  Pay special attention to the notion of engagement.When diving into your data,” Mason advises, “think about  how to drive top-line revenue growth by using data to find new customers and partners and deliver  real-time value to them in unique and unexpected ways.”
  • Look at options. The tools you choose, such as the cloud hosting provider, will be essential – especially regarding speed and true 100% HA (see below).

Accelerate & Engage with Rrue 100% HA Cloud

Why do you specifically need Superb Internet for your cloud hosting solution to drive your big data analytics? We don’t just deliver insights. We deliver them with benefits of local disk I/O that only distributed storage combined with Infiniband can bring.

Fact: our true 100% HA cloud machines scores actual performance metrics that are typically 4 times better than AWS and SoftLayer for similar VM specs.

By Kent Roberts

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