Welcome!

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, Apache, SDN Journal

@BigDataExpo: Article

Taming the Big Data Beast

When it comes to effective mobile strategy, it’s not Big Data, it’s the right data

If you're not convinced the hype around Big Data is entirely justified, consider the following statistics: in the time it takes an average person to read this article, 72 petabytes of data (that's 72 x 1015 if you're counting) will have been added to the global information pool. Each hour, Walmart processes more than 1 million customer transactions, logging data into databases estimated to contain more than 2.5 petabytes of data - the equivalent of 167 times the information contained in all the books in the U.S. Library of Congress. Facebook uploads 500 terabytes of new information daily. The volume of global business data generated is doubling every 1.2 years.

The Big Data phenomenon is real. It's happening in every sector of the economy, from government to education to private business. In addition to the oft-cited storage, security and analysis questions Big Data brings, it also has an unprecedented opportunity to impact your company and its mobile strategy.

The explosion of mobile device use among business users, for example, is often cited by analysts as one of the main sources of today's data explosion. IT analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2015 mobile phones will outnumber PCs as the most popular web access devices. Users with the ability to capture date on mobile devices, through bar codes, GPS apps, QR readers, or manual input, have greatly contributed to the growing data stream.

Big Data and mobility share much more than a cause and effect relationship or places on Gartner's list of top 2013 technology trends. They are linked in ways that offer game-changing value-creation opportunities to companies that effectively tie the collection of information to the delivery of real-time decision support to mobile executives. While members of the executive and IT teams continue the debate over data storage options, methods of securing and managing privacy concerns around customer data continue to linger. Mobility executives also face their own set of unique Big Data challenges including the best ways to analyze the dramatically expanding information flow.

If managed correctly, leveraging Big Data as a key component of your mobile development strategy can pay off in increased sales, better corporate performance and improved efficiency. If not properly managed, you'll simply be contributing to the $900 billion in information overload costs industries suffer every year.

More important, it's not just about Big Data, it's about getting the right data into the hands of the right person, at the right time. That means having the strategy, applications and tools necessary to ensure efficient two-way interaction between remote workers and their corporate data systems.

The core of the Big Data promise is developing a strategy that delivers key real-time information to remote users and allows them to access the specific information they need to perform critical tasks, i.e., prep for a sales call, manage a customer issue or drive a critical business decision. Keeping these same remote users insulated from extraneous information that is out of date or unnecessary must also be a part of an effective mobile data management strategy.

How you build mobility solutions that combine multiple data sets into a single usable data-driven application could make the difference between the critical app sales depends on and the one that is abandoned as irrelevant or too difficult to use. Recent studies have shown that sales reps access data from as many as 15 different sources to collect valuable information about contacts and prospects. And a significant majority of executives believe that their sales reps miss opportunities because they can't keep up with this information.

At the other extreme, forcing mobile sales executives to wade through seemingly endless emails and data streams to extract the specific information that could really make a business difference - that the customer has just been placed on credit hold and new sales orders are suspended, for example, or that the next appointment of the day has just cancelled allowing more sales time opportunity with the current prospect - can create equal challenges.

It's not just sales and customer support personnel who benefit from an effective mobile data strategy. Imagine a remote inventory manager with the ability, when alerted in real time to the fact that a key supplier just failed to make delivery on a needed component, to trigger alternative sourcing strategies that would keep the production lines moving and avoid disruption of product delivery. Or the executive, when presented with real-time analysis of poor operating performance in a region, can reach across time zones from a mobile device to make an emergency conference call to implement corrective action. In fact, 63% of executives in a recent SAS/Economist survey said having the ability to rapidly process information is having a significant impact on their strategic decision making ability.

The key to all of the above scenarios is, again, having the right data at hand, delivered on the right device (which is most often defined as the device of choice of the mobile user) without forcing the user to do their own data mining. Accomplishing this requires a mobile strategy that:

  1. Accounts for an increasing volume of data input sources
  2. Provides the flexibility to alter application functionality based on user input
  3. Strikes the appropriate balance between user access and maintaining data security at the enterprise level
  4. Maintains a rapid mobile application development process

As you consider how the convergence of Big Data and mobile will impact you in the months ahead, here are five things that might help keep you on the right path as you develop and implement a longer-term strategy:

  1. Analyze the data streams - look at all potential sources of data to separate what data is being captured, what is stored and what is being constantly updated.
  2. Identify all internal business information needs - start by taking a classic BI approach of identifying what each business organization needs to improve decision-making and competitive advantage.
  3. Map the connection points to find data synergies - you most likely will be able to solve your organization's Big Data challenge in a single strategy but identifying overlapping needs can help establish priorities.
  4. Make this a long-term strategy with regular evaluation milestones - this will allow you to focus on what can be delivered in the near term without sacrificing longer term objectives and should improve the chances of your plan paying off in real value.
  5. Don't overlook the chance to leverage mobile workers as collection points. While getting the right information to remote workers should be a priority, the best strategies deploy a two-way approach that enables easy real-time updating of critical information from mobile users.

Big Data, like mobility, is not a trend or a passing fad; it's a fundamental element of 21st century business operations. Effectively organizing and delivering the results of that analysis to today's mobile management teams must have a place on every mobile and IT executive's priority list.

More Stories By George Mashini

George Mashini is CEO of Catavolt. He has helped establish Catavolt as a market innovator in the areas of hybrid cloud computing and mobile business applications by creating software that leverages existing systems along with new technology. He is focused on applying new techniques and technologies in innovative ways that bring business value to Catavolt’s customers.

In his previous leadership role at Paragon Software, George experienced all phases of enterprise software growth as part of the core management team. In 2005, he was part of a core team at Paragon that led the company to a successful exit for its investors via a sale to Infor Global Solutions. He has been in the enterprise software field for 13 years with experience in software development, project management, professional services organizations, product management and executive management.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, will shares the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., will focus on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He will give an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He will also outline what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix managed service platforms and what specifically c...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
Peak 10, Inc., has announced the implementation of IT service management, a business process alignment initiative based on the widely adopted Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. The implementation of IT service management enhances Peak 10’s current service-minded approach to IT delivery by propelling the company to deliver higher levels of personalized and prompt service. The majority of Peak 10’s operations employees have been trained and certified in the ITIL frame...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...