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The Buzz in Big Data

By Itzik Maoz, Director of Business Analytics Practice for Creative Computing, Inc.

Who doesn’t want more insight? Instead of looking in the rearview mirror for analysis of what has happened, many companies now want to be able to look forward, understand what they see and predict what’s going to happen next with an increasing degree of confidence.

Together with a rapidly increasing volume of data, they’re looking at “Big Data” technology for answers.

Big Data is the new buzz phrase. You can hear it all around you and make an impression just by dropping words like Hadoop, Netezza, MapReduce, NoSQL, etc…

But how big is big? When does an organization move to these platforms? Can you effectively analyze and predict, using your current databases and infrastructure? The answer is “absolutely yes.”

You don’t necessarily have to have a Big Data platform in order to make good predictions and play the analytics game. Many companies can still make business cases and decisions based on the information in their existing databases.

What are the types of skills that you need? Do you need to hire Ph.D.s, statisticians and rocket scientists? Not necessarily.

Though the skillset of the “data scientist” is emerging in the industry, your own bright analysts and BI/BA teams can be successful with finding patterns in data and making predictions.

IBM SPSS Modeler is one example of an application that takes the mystery of advanced statistics and helps your team get results. With the integration with your BI Platform, especially IBM Cognos, it is easy to communicate and present your findings and recommendations so that executives can visualize and make sense of your analysis, gaining insight and triggering action.

Next time I’m going to write about types of analysis that companies use to gain competitive advantage — and that some organizations use to better the lives of people in the community.

About the Author
Itzik Maoz is Director of Business Analytics Practice for Creative Computing and has more than 15 years of Business Analytics experience. Based in Providence, R.I., he has worked with many of New England’s most recognizable companies in Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare and Higher Education. He is proficient in the entire IBM Business Analytics stack and is well versed in the entire Business Analytics project lifecycle.


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