Get in the Zone with Big Data & Analytics

With many clients achieving phenomenal business results from Big Data & Analytics — 150% growth in revenue, 95% accuracy in sales forecasts, 98.5% on-time delivery to name just a few — companies around the world are trying to replicate the same super productive analytical state in order to achieve their own business goals.

To be successful, you need to understand- and get in- the analytical zone.

As the volume, variety, velocity and veracity of data continues to grow, it is simply impossible for individuals to consume, understand and derive a comprehensive view in order to make more informed business decisions.  We need analytics to help us make the best choice possible, in time to effect change.

Over time the scope of analytics has expanded to answer four types of questions:

  1. Descriptive – What is happening in our business today?
  2. Diagnostic – Why did it happen?
  3. Predictive – What could happen?
  4. Prescriptive – What action should I take next?

And with the advent of IBM Watson, these questions will increasingly be complimented with a Cognitive mindset – that is, at each decision point, “What did I learn and what should I do differently next time?”, with the ultimate goal to be more right, more often.

To be able to get answers to these important questions, we need infrastructure that allows us to harness all types of data across all paradigms.  This modernized architecture has multiple “zones”, optimized for the different types of data and the ways in which they need to be analyzed for business insights.

IBM Watson Foundations

The Information ingestion and operational information zone is where data is ingested through operational systems and data integration, then made available for downstream analytical zones to add context and derive insight valuable to the business.

Data is captured in the Exploration, landing and archive zone where Hadoop-based technologies support the exploration of structured and unstructured data at rest, as well as archive data in a form that is still readily accessible to the business.

Data is fed into the Enterprise warehouse, data mart and analytic appliances zone,  where information is explored and analyzed to support operational decisions and predictive analysis.

In parallel, the Real-time analytics zone provides the ability to process and analyze data in motion to support business decisions that need to be made at the point of interaction.

Common to all these information zones, is the Information governance zone that provides the essential governance, security and business continuity services to ensure decisions are made on trusted data.

By leveraging each of these zones, organizations can support scenarios that deliver real business value.  You can move transactional data from sources into a data warehouse, apply reporting and analytics to help transform financial processes.  You can also land unstructured sources for exploration and discovery to better understand customers.  And at the same time, analyze device data to make decisions to improve the customer experience in real-time.  All these scenarios lead to one comprehensive business outcome – success.

The one question that remains – are you in the zone?