Big names seek big data maturity

"Big Data" is certainly one of the emerging technologies for IT industry in 2014, says researcher Frost & Sullivan. Big Data is a concept focusing on harnessing value from massive amounts of data in both structured (email, corporate database) and unstructured (social network, forum comments) formats. As 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created everyday, the massive accumulation of information extracted means benefits and competitive advantages for business. However, the topic has been raised for debate whether Big Data will simply be just another over-hyped buzz word for the year to come.

Teera Kanokkanjanarat, Senior ICT Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, an expert on Big Data says, "Businesses across many industries will increase their adoption and investment on Big Data this year and next, because there's a real business value in it. The thought of analyse and extract business insight from massive volume of data has been around for a long time. However, to successfully do so requires both related technologies and business environment to reach certain level of maturity."

Teera adds, "Real world business cases on Big Data have been happening around the world. For example, many telecom operators has begun offering Big Data service to help retailers grow their businesses. With massive amounts of data from anonymous mobile device users, telecom operators can provide insight on customer demographic to help retailers plan their new store location. The questions answered are such: how many people walk through this street in a day? In what proportion for each period of time? Are they men or women? How many of these are shoppers and how many are local residents? Which stores are they visiting the most?"

"In healthcare, Google and the health authorities have been analysing vast amount of data to predict flu epidemics in North America since 2009. Business entities are using insight from Big Data to engage customers to become fans, and turning fans into fanatics."

As the amount of data is expected to increase at 40% annually, Big Data will become even more important for the years to come. IBM, HP, EMC, the top 3 leading players in Big Data reported combined revenue of $2.35bn alone from Big Data related products and services. The number is expected to grow more with increasing momentum from other industries such as automotive and government administration, across the world.