Mastek Blog

Big Data is No Big Deal

[fa icon="calendar"] 21-Apr-2016 12:53:00 / by Mick Bull

Bookmakers always win. They may experience the occasional bad day, but over a period of time they always win. Why? This is primarily because they study form. They analyse as much data as they can absorb, applying hypotheses to test possible outcomes (whether mentally or with the aid of computers), setting prices and refining continuously based on further events and patterns. Basically, they calculate the most likely outcomes based on statistics and other insights, and then set the odds in their favour. They also study their levels of exposure and risk, taking appropriate steps to offset potential losses, to ensure that they nearly always make a profit.

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Make the Unknown Known

In short, bookmakers carry out their research and maths or what we’d call data science or advanced analytics if you like. They do it better than their challengers, the general gambling public. And that’s what many organisations are exercising their worry-beads over in the consumer-driven, omnichannel age. How to make your predictive analysis as good as it can possibly be? So, that you can surpass business competitors by understanding your customers and opportunities better, optimising your operations and reducing your risks. 

The secret is to study as many data points as you can possibly lay your hands on. These data points should be researched from as many different sources or angles as possible. You should apply business intuition and hypotheses to identify trends and patterns whilst allowing machine learning to help you refine and improve your algorithms. Additionally, the occasional Eureka moment when you discover one of those really transformational ‘unknown unknowns’ is a definite bonus.

Go Beyond Big Data

Clearly, Big Data is absolutely vital to enriching the supply of a huge volume and variety of timely data points. But, the real big deal is not Big Data technology itself; it’s the improved business outcomes resulting from deeper analytics. In effect, Big Data and the plethora of new technologies with comic-strip names that have grown up around it are merely enablers.  Several organisations driven by the hype are making the mistake of separating Big Data from the traditional analysis they always did, when in fact the real value lies in augmenting it by blending the two.

Simplify Complexity Combining Tech and Processes

The Big Data landscape is complex and skills are in short supply. But that needn’t be a big deal either. At Mastek, we have 20+ years’ experience at improving our customers’ business outcomes by capitalising on data. We are veterans of iterative, Agile and DevOps methods that deliver value early on. Our solutions address technology, people and process change issues that are crucial to the success of these programmes.

We love complexity, are in sync with the latest Big Data tools and can guide you through the minefield of Big Data products. In addition, we can assist you with:

  • Selecting a joined-up solution that supports your existing investment
  • Spinning consistent, pre-configured environments with the toolsets required for your use-cases
  • Establishing an Analytics Community of Excellence to ensure the relevance of your solution
  • Outsourcing the problem and providing Insight as a Service if required

Adding the icing to the cake is our delivery success rate of 93 per cent on Go-live.

Now back to answering the question on whether Big Data is a big deal in itself, I would say no. To misquote slightly a common saying, “We are always in the (data) swamp. Only the depth varies.” But what a fantastic opportunity it presents to transform your business.

Why not challenge us with your top Insight problem or opportunity?  Give us some data and within a week or so we will demonstrate some valuable answers and an indication of the journey you need to go on to realise your key goals.

Meanwhile, get more information on how you can take small, specific steps towards maturing from traditional to modern BI & Analytics even if you’re not yet ready for a full-on Big Data programme. Download your Agile BI & Analytics Makeover brochure here.

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Topics: TechNovation

Mick Bull

Written by Mick Bull

Business Intelligence Solutions Director

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