The Beneficiaries of Forward-Thinking

Last week, I mentioned how Big Data, which was only given an official name in 2001, is now rapidly changing enterprise operations, thanks to the sheer volume of data being generated every second. Big Data is impacting every business, and sooner or later, it will affect every person. I see Big Data’s influence in several key sectors of the economy, including:

  • Telecommunications companies: Big Data and the tools that come with it will prove essential to companies looking to better allocate bandwidth to optimize service to their most valuable customers.
  • Financial Services companies: Companies tasked with processing every point of sale transaction and ensuring money changes hands within a quick window of have millions of data points to track and analyze daily. The opportunity for big data solutions in this space may be to provide real-time insight into these data points as a service both to consumers and to vendors (assuming they can meet privacy requirements).
  • Energy & Utilities companies: Ensuring resources are utilized efficiently, and in the case of shortages, allocated to the most essential places, is just one part of how energy companies use data. The continued implementation of Smart Grids, which will tell utility companies what is plugged in where, will allow companies to better allocate resources and operate far more green—if they’re able to find an efficient way to process and analyze all the information coming in every second from thousands of data points (or plugs, etc.) on a city energy grid.
  • Manufacturing facilities: From monitoring machine output to ensure customer orders are on schedule, to determining—instantly, if possible—any outages or malfunctions and acting quickly to correct them to prevent product loss or missed delivery deadlines, the Big Data generated by large manufacturing facilities with thousands of simultaneous transactions happening every second is just one challenge facing factories. Automated decision making is the next step in utilizing Big Data to operate more efficiently, prevent loss and increase profits.

The above industry examples are just a few. Another one to think about is government agencies—from Social Security to the Transportation Security Agency—that all need to gather data, analyze it, and make decisions. Not all decisions need to be made instantly, but many do—otherwise, everything from our financial health to our security as a nation are put at risk.

Next post, I’ll cover some of the enterprise technology trends, from operational business intelligence software to predictive analytics solutions, I see leading the way in providing solutions to empower Big Data-drenched enterprises to operate with more efficiency, less waste, and increased revenues in 2012.