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Big Data Is About Getting Small | @BigDataExpo #IoT #IoE #M2M #API #BigData

Sometimes the Big Data conversation gets too fixated on the 'big' part of the conversation

Okay, okay, that seems like an odd thing to say. But at a recent keynote, that came out of my mouth. But that’s a confusing statement, so let me share the entirety of what I said:

Big Data is about getting small; it’s about getting down to the level of the individual.

Sometimes the Big Data conversation gets too fixated on the “big” part of the conversation: Is my data big enough? Is my company big enough? Is my analytics team big enough?

Instead, let’s reorient the conversation to get “small,” to leverage the wealth of internal and external data sources to learn as much as possible about our individual customers and machines. Let’s change the conversation, and let’s start with the current fascination with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Internet of Things Becomes The Internet of Everything
By now, only those living under a rock haven’t been inundated by the Internet of Things prognostications. Gartner predicts that by 2020, there will be:

  • 30 Billion of connected devices
  • 7 Billion connected people
  • 44 Zettabytes (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) of data

I’ve written several blogs about the potential of IoT, my favorite being “Internet of Things: Connected Does Not Equal Smart.” Even more IoT factoids are provided in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Internet of Things Factoids

But, as with many equally overwhelming technology statistics… so what? Well, when you combine the Internet of Things with the wealth of social media and mobile data that everyone is sharing across the multitude of social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine) and all the wearable computing data (e.g., fitness bands, smart watches, smart phones, smart glasses, smart contact lens), then you end up with the “Internet of Everything” where everything and everyone is connected. And that creates a LOT of possibilities.

But where Big Data, and “Internet of Everything” become personally relevant is at the level of the individual – at the “Internet of One” (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: The Internet of One

It is at the level of the individual where one can start gleaning actionable insights about each customer’s propensities, preferences, behaviors, tendencies, trends, interests, passions, associations, affiliations, etc. It is at the level of the individual where the multitude of insights about your customers (and machines) enables you to anticipate their needs to better support and service them. In the end, the “Internet of Things” is become highly relevant when the conversation is about the “Internet of ME”!

The Internet of Everything Becomes The Internet of ME!
Customers’ expectations are changing about what they expect from the companies with whom they interact. Companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Google, Pandora and Spotify are leveraging superior insights about their customers and their customers’ purchase, viewing and listening patterns to provide a more personalized service; to recommend products or movies or songs that they believe that you will find interesting and relevant (and hopefully buy).

A recent study “Millennials: Designing a Bank For the Future” highlights how expectations are changing from a younger generation who has grown up believing these types of highly-personalized services should be common (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Millennials: Designing A Bank For The Future

The study highlights the following expectations of the new Millennials:

  • 48% are interested in real-time and forward-looking (predictive analytics) spending analysis
  • 51% want their bank to proactively recommend (prescriptive analytics) products and services for their financial needs

But what does this mean to the most important person on the “Internet of One”…me!! For example, I wear a fitness band that tracks fitness data about me such as distance walked and run, minutes exercised, elevation covered, levels of exertion, heart rate, and stress levels. My fitness data could be leveraged by a multitude of organizations to better service to me – to recommend new fitness products, exercise programs, running routes, exercise partners, health check ups, even health insurance and life insurance policies (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: The Internet of Me!

Getting Small Summary
Big Data and the “Internet of Everything” get personally relevant when we get small; down to the level of the individual. So instead of worrying about big, let’s focus on the most important entity in the “Internet of Everything”, the individual. In the end, the “Internet of Things” becomes highly relevant when the conversation is about the “Internet of ME”!

The post Big Data is About Getting Small appeared first on InFocus.

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More Stories By William Schmarzo

Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business”, is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service line offerings and capabilities for the EMC Global Services organization. As part of Bill’s CTO charter, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He’s written several white papers, avid blogger and is a frequent speaker on the use of Big Data and advanced analytics to power organization’s key business initiatives. He also teaches the “Big Data MBA” at the University of San Francisco School of Management.

Bill has nearly three decades of experience in data warehousing, BI and analytics. Bill authored EMC’s Vision Workshop methodology that links an organization’s strategic business initiatives with their supporting data and analytic requirements, and co-authored with Ralph Kimball a series of articles on analytic applications. Bill has served on The Data Warehouse Institute’s faculty as the head of the analytic applications curriculum.

Previously, Bill was the Vice President of Advertiser Analytics at Yahoo and the Vice President of Analytic Applications at Business Objects.

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