Big data without analysis is, well, just big data

Big data is everywhere. Yes Gartner predicts that big data spending will grow from $27 billion in 2012 to $55 billion in 2016, but what is more interesting is what we are doing to be productive with this big data and it can (or at least it should) be summed up in one word…

… analysis.

Big data without analysis is, well, just big data. Big data with a layer of analytical insight on top (or inside if you prefer) is value. This is the challenge.

Interesting then that the IBM Information On Demand Forum this week is now called the IBM Information On Demand & Business Analytics Forum 2012.

An enormous stream of data

Big Blue justifies its latest software offerings in the big data space as a channel for accessing and gaining intelligence into the enormous stream of data generated from mobile, social and digital networks today.

IBM spells out some real world use cases for big data analytics:

• Enterprises across all industries are under increasing pressure to extract new insights from an explosion of available data.

• In communications, six billion global mobile phone subscribers are demanding unique and personalised offerings that match their individual lifestyles.

• In financial services, Wall Street firms generate five new research documents every minute. In addition, nearly $100 billion in total sales are missed each year because retailers don’t have the right products in stock to meet customer demand.

In terms of product, IBM is rolling out its new IBM Digital Analytics Accelerator to help software developers supporting marketing applications to tap into consumer sentiment to create targeted advertising and promotions, avoid customer churn, and perform advanced web analytics that predict customer needs.

What big data can do you for

In the same vein (no pun intended) there is also an interesting piece of new analytics software called Patient Care and Insights. This helps healthcare organisations improve patient care and lower operational costs by considering the specific health history of each individual patient.

“The IBM solution provides the core capabilities for devising predictive models of various health conditions that can be used to identify early intervention opportunities to improve the patient’s outlook by minimising or avoiding potential health problems,” said the company, in a press statement.

Coming out of the IBM Research division as it does, IBM similarity analytics is a set of capabilities and algorithms designed to allow healthcare professionals to examine thousands of patient characteristics at once — including demographic, social and financial factors along with unstructured data such as physicians’ notes — to generate personalised evidence and insights and then provide care according to personalised treatment plans.

So you think big data analytics isn’t doing you any good personally? Think again maybe.