How to outrun your competitors using technology?

What is Big Data? Bringing Big Data into the enterprise – how does it help, who needs it most and what challenges does it pose to companies?

The concept of Big Data can certainly be applied by enterprises that find it hard to compete because of market saturation. Companies are constantly looking for different ways to make their offers more attractive. What can be of assistance is information – including macroeconomic and microeconomic data, data on Western trends, demographic data, market analyses, data on the competition and public opinion polls. Obtaining this information is easy. The tough part is processing and making personal use of the data. And that’s where Big Data comes in.

First come, first served

The key benefit to be gained from Big Data is money coming from performance optimization in all the areas where the concept of Big Data has been implemented. However, companies that are expected to reap the most profit from Big Data are those that are the first to discover the market norms and apply them in defining or, sometimes, redefining their market position. They will define their business scale, modify their marketing strategy, PR, target customer profile and employment strategy, carry out new investments, define product groups to be incorporated into the offer, etc.

“When talking about Big Data, I must emphasize one thing. The idea itself, even if followed by purchasing the required technology, means nothing unless accompanied by an internal transformation within the company, manifested in the desire and capability to analyze all the available data. So, one can say that the Big Data philosophy has been in existence for a long time. What is key now is to realize the importance of interpreting data originating from other sources than your ERP system. Being aware and having the adequate analytical tools is only half the battle when it comes to Big Data. To achieve full success you need an analyst-virtuoso, who knows how to link all the data, find interconnections, discover the patterns governing certain values, define principles that can be converted into algorithms and draw appropriate conclusions”, says Michał Guzek, Managing Partner and Business Solutions Architects at Hicron.

The value of Big Data lies in the business

Implementation of the Big Data concept requires investment. The West makes use of outsourcing, which guarantees a high and stable quality of service. As regards the type of systems, databases, accelerators and other tools used, it’s a matter of personal choice, depending on the company size and amount of data collected. It is a good idea for the company to find a partner – an advisor that is familiar with the industry and capable of determining hardware requirements on the basis of company needs. “One must remember, however, that the value of Big Data is in the business. Even the best software, unless accompanied by the knowledge on how to make use of the data collections, remains only an expensive toy. It’s like driving a Porsche around town. We brag of our possession, but are unable to enjoy the full benefits offered by this technology”, summarises Michał Guzek.

The beginnings…

In the West, the Big Data concept is already being applied by many enterprises. In Poland, it is the subject itself and not the potential application that draws the most attention. We are still at the stage of getting used to the idea of actually putting this philosophy into practice. Big Data is heavily discussed but rarely used. I believe that in a few years, the application of Big Data will become a reality, as was the case with the introduction of mobile solutions, and earlier of Business Intelligence systems and even earlier – ERP systems in the Polish market.