Has big data had its moment in the sun? Interestingly, a few years ago, (that is, when the concept was making headlines) this query would have elicited a resounding NO. Today, though, the response isn’t that clear-cut.

Here’s why-on one hand, industry data suggests that companies are looking for new ways to leverage analytics to the fullest. The bottom-line? Well, boosting their bottom-lines, actually (pardon the pun). Essentially, the idea is to highlight a shift towards leveraging big data smartly and not just for the sake of it. In other words, don’t just analyze large data reservoirs; unearth those vital bits of information that make the difference to your business. To add to this, research firm IDC has predicted that revenue from the sales of big data and analytics applications, tools, and services will increase by more than 50 per cent, from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019. Interestingly so, services will account for more than half of all revenue by 2019. It means most companies will be using big data technology in conjunction with expert knowledge. That’s that, then.

Now, permit me to play devil’s advocate. Why get restricted by terms like big data? Isn’t data, by itself, enough, given the role it plays in our lives today? Sample this, for instance, the Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecasts and Methodology, 2016-2021 has stated that in 2016, global IP traffic was a staggering 1.2 ZB per year. By 2021, this is expected to touch 3.3 ZB per year. In other words, we live in a data-rich age, and how!

And this is the interesting bit-companies haven’t given up on the concept of mining vast sets of data for insights. That’s still very much prevalent. So much so that one doesn’t need to fix the “big data” label on it. One just calls it data. It is now taken for granted that the huge data at our disposal will glean actionable insights.

But, there is a catch, though. The technology of collecting this vast data repository isn’t enough. What is to be done with it? What applications can be developed from this information? Actually, to rephrase, which applications can best leverage this data?

And here’s where I bring in the customer experience management angle. After all, what’s a blog on big data analytics without it? As mentioned before, the technology for its own sake simply isn’t good enough anymore. If it were, would we actually be reading articles heralding the demise of big data? And there are a fair few, I must say! On that note, even deciding to use the data at one’s disposal smartly isn’t enough. One must ask the following questions:

What is the quality of insights one obtains from the data?

What is one trying to achieve from this data?

Does one have the appropriate data to address the above?

Will the insights obtained be beneficial for one’s business?

How does one leverage these insights for this purpose?

Net, net, the idea of this blog isn’t to say that big data is dead. Nor is it to applaud its achievements. The idea is to say that big data for the sake of big data simply isn’t enough. The idea is to get to the why and how of existing data. It is learning how and which applications can be leveraged to even reach the why’s and how’s. It is about accepting that big data can (and does) have its pitfalls.

It may just be about smarter data. Or not. Watch this space for more.



Amit Sanyal

Amit Sanyal

Amit Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer - Consumer Value Solutions at Mahindra Comviva, a business focused on Customer Value & Life-cycle Management solutions in the telecom space. A marketer at heart and with over 11...