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
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle.
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...