While at eTail West
, an industry trade show for retail, brand manufacturer and travel and hospitality firms, with SiteMinis
, Savvis' mobile hosting solution partner, it became clear that "big data" has emerged as a hot buzzword and trend. Companies are beginning to see the challenges and opportunities in big data and looking to either be an earlier adopter or, at a minimum, pay attention to better understand this market and get ahead of the curve.
"Big data," in general, refers to data from both unstructured and structured sources, including machine-generated information (i.e., click stream activity, log data, network security alerts) and social media sources respectively. These information sources are generating data stores that are getting very large, growing and changing very quickly, and struggling to fit within traditional database architectures. Companies are realizing that the real advantage is not about just having the data, but harnessing it to gain big insights at a reasonable cost.
Luckily, today's alternative hardware delivery models, cloud architectures and open source software bring big data processing within reach. For brand manufacturers
and travel and hospitality firms, this is especially good news. In an increasingly competitive market, big data provides the visibility and insights to more effectively market to existing and potential customers. However, there are certain technical requirements companies must consider to capture the potential of their data resources. Technology requirements include policies related to privacy, security
, intellectual property and liability in a global environment.
Savvis is currently working with clients on big data solutions and roadmaps so they can exploit the power of valuable data assets to strategically address business requirements. Clients want to better segment customers to more precisely tailor products and services, improve the development of next-generation products and services, and improve performance and reduce variability in business operations - better forecasting with real-time data, for example. By better tapping into the data resources a company collects, these strategic benefits are well within reach.
I encourage you to stay tuned as Savvis continues to evolve its big data solutions and offerings.
Steve Garrou is vice president, global solutions management, at Savvis, a CenturyLink company.