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Trends in big data and analytics for Australian enterprises in 2014

Technology & Data

Trends in big data and analytics for Australian enterprises in 2014


Brock Douglas, business analytics leader at IBM, has compiled his list of the major trends and opportunities around big data and analytics for Australian enterprises in 2014, and allowed us to share it here.


Shift from hype to pervasive adoption

We will see a shift from the hype of 2013 to action, pervasive adoption of data analytics across organisations, and at scale. There will be an expectation across the c-suite, in particular the CMO, CHR, CFO and CISO, to extract insights from a variety of data sources to make better, faster, more informed decisions.

Analytics in the cloud

The shift from hype to action will be enabled also by the increase in offerings around analytics in the cloud. This approach, whether it is a hosted or software as a service solution, will allow organisations to focus on their core business, to innovate fast, achieve quick wins and minimise risk.  An example of an Australian company that is addressing this trend is RightShip. RightShip is using the Softlayer cloud platform to manage and analyse the data that will be generated by the IBM analytics software, allowing the company to focus on its core business of providing risk and vetting advice to the maritime industry.

Cognitive computing systems

As the impact of big data and analytics grows, organisations will need look to cognitive computing systems, like IBM Watson Customer Engagement Advisor, that can not only process and analyse complex data but also learn and interact. These systems will need to deliver real time responses, in a scalable and cost efficient way. ANZ Wealth is collaborating with IBM in this space to give its advisors the ability to harness information and make smarter, faster financial recommendations – enabling a customer experience that is simple, safe and steeped in data-informed insights.

From silo to cross enterprise

In 2014, the culture within organisations will change from a siloed ownership of data and insights to a cross-enterprise approach, with the insights shared and applied across the organisation. Data analytics will be used by a broader number of stakeholders inside the organisation, and will no longer be the sole responsibility of the IT function. Marketing, sales, HR, finance and supply chain will work together, and share the insights gained from data to inform a more holistic business strategy that delivers growth to the bottom line.

Beyond traditional analytics

How data analytics is being used will also evolve beyond traditional business applications. For example NSW Waratahs rugby will use IBM analytics next season to predict player injury. Fielding their top players every week optimises their team performance and improves fan engagement, which ultimately impacts on revenue through tickets, merchandise, TV and sponsorship. Watch more on this story.

Need for bold leadership

The technologies above already exist today – social and mobile driving the need, cloud and as a service enabling, and analytics providing the solution. What is needed is bold leadership that is agile, moves quickly and is willing to test, learn and evolve how they leverage analytics across the organisation.

Skills throughout the organisation

The rise of the data scientist out of the back office will give organisations a real competitive edge. Telstra is a great Australian example of a company that recognises the benefits and opportunities of data analytics to better serve its customers.  In August this year Telstra spoke to The Australian about their commitment to double its data driven marketing activity over the coming 18 months. But this is not the case for all organisations, there is a shortage of this skill within organisations to effectively manage, analyse and understand the data to uncover the insights. This will be a significant factor, and could potentially threaten to stunt cross-enterprise adoption of data analytics.

Know me as an individual

There is greater acceptance by customers and employees of the value exchange that can result from organisations that adopt big data analytics technologies – to better understand me as an individual and therefore better service me with a seamless system of engagement across multiple channels.

Need for Australian organisations to act now

The digital world is generating massive amounts of data from many sources. But not many Australian organisations are taking advantage of that. Analytics provides the way to mine that data to provide valuable insights that enables organisations to move from a sense and respond to a predict and act approach to growing their business. It’s real, it’s here, it’s a huge opportunity for those who act and a competitive weakness for that that don’t.

In this digital economy, organisations need to transform and work smarter to survive. They also need a transformation partner with that provides the end to end transform journey – the skills, technology, tailored solutions and industry specific expertise.


Brock Douglas is business analytics leader at IBM. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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