Extracting value from «Big enough Data»

Mark Koh/Frost & Sullivan
05 May 2014

Over the past two to three years there has been much discussion on the exponential growth of data and the benefits of extracting insights from big data. The big data phenomenon is expected to grow even bigger (pardon the expression) over the next four years, and with it large increases in spending on big data technologies.

In the ASEAN region, big data and analytics spending is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30% between 2013 and 2017. Spending this year in ASEAN is projected to grow to $563 million and is forecast to hit $1.07 billion by 2017. Spending in the sector has initially been on data management functionalities, but this is expected to change in the near future as more investments are channeled to solutions providing insights.

The end goal of implementing big data technologies would be to gain actionable insights to improve internal efficiencies, improve top-line revenue or address new business opportunities. The rush to hoard and accumulate new sources of information might prove futile if there are no actionable insights to be had due to a lack of capabilities and the effort required to analyze the large, complex mass of data. Instead, a much more gradual approach should be taken, by first addressing the low-hanging fruit like improving data analysis on existing accessible data ("Big enough Data") and investing on purpose-built and functional applications.

Most discussions on big data and analytics seem to focus on addressing the data analyst needs, but much data analysis is still being done outside the realms of dedicated data science and IT teams. Line of business employees, from marketing and sales to procurement departments, regularly crunch numbers using spreadsheets to analyze "Big enough Data". Improving the data analysis efficiency within these functional departments, by furnishing appropriate visualization and easy-to-use analysis tools, is expected to bring immediate return on investment, as traditional telecom services still contribute to the bulk of CSPs' revenues.

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