A New Era for Big Data: Accessibility, Integration and Analytics at IBM Business Connect

Posted: October 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | Comments Off on A New Era for Big Data: Accessibility, Integration and Analytics at IBM Business Connect

On October 15, Comptel’s team attended IBM Business Connect, an annual event held in Helsinki at the monumental Finlandia Hall. According to IBM, it’s one of the biggest ICT events in Finland, with 1,700 attendees from a diverse number of businesses and industries.

A year ago, many presentations at the conference emphasized the importance of Big Data. This year, the messaging shifted to focus on business models utilising predictive analytics. Here is a recap of the main things we took away from the event.

1. Analytics are valuable, but often inaccessible.

Even if analytics are everywhere, leveraging their full business value can still be a challenge. Organisations face obstacles around data integration and data preparation, in particular, and this seems to prohibit some companies from using Big Data analytics at all. Therefore, to leverage big data, an efficient data integration and refinery layer is required to be able to utilise every bit of crude data to fuel the business.

It’s also important not to forget that when analytics become a natural part of business processes and decision-making, there will be a growing need for intelligent and interactive reporting and dashboards. Analytics cannot be a privilege of data scientists only; the benefits of Big Data analysis should reach much further throughout organisations.

2. Data enhances the customer journey.

Analysing and modelling customers’ buying journeys will result in new competitive advantages. B2C and B2B companies alike should look to leverage the intelligence that predictive analytics and machine-learning capabilities offer. It can help businesses better understand individual customers and their context and preferred content and unique value, enabling the delivery of ‘moments of truth.’ This means taking the right approach or offering the right product at the right time, with the right content and in the right way to optimise their experience. Ideally, this should be done across and along a customer’s entire journey.

According to the presenters, more than half (54 percent) of CEOs in leading organisations want to focus on improving the customer experience by changing interactions from mass messaging to market segments to 1:1 relationships. Vanson Bourne research found that 90 percent of customers are interested in a more personal relationship with communications service providers. But to do this, there needs to be real structural changes within the business.

3. Proactive should replace reactive.

Before access to real-time, predictive analytics, business opportunities and strategies were largely based on reporting and business intelligence. Business units would comb through the results of previous campaigns and base future campaigns on those results.

Companies need to shift from this reactive, report-driven approach to a predictive, data-driven one, using a solution that can automatically make changes in the business depending on operational data or customer trends by matching customer’s context and content. Predictive analytics can empower every aspect of the business, from product manufacturing to infrastructure and operations to sales and marketing.

In order to create data that can be used to revolutionise a customer’s experience, the information first has to be cleansed and processed with analytics tools.

The Data of Being Human

Aside from the business presentations, we also enjoyed hearing the keynote speeches. The most inspiring speech was given by Pekka Hyysalo, founder of the Fight Back movement. Hyysalo had just graduated from the Ruka Alpine School, and he was ready to conquer the world of freestyle skiing. When filming a freestyle movie in Ylläs in challenging weather conditions, however, the last jump ended badly.

He spent almost three weeks in a coma and suffered a severe head injury. His medical evaluation gave very little hope for asuccessful recovery, but Hyysalo proved the doctors wrong. With a great attitude, unbeatable willpower and an incredible sense of humour, he learned to walk and talk again. Now, he’s sharing his story and fighting back step-by-step.

We hope to see him accomplish the ultimate feat: run a marathon. The marathon project started this autumn when the first Fight Back run was organised in Turku. The distance was 2.5 kilometres, and next year, the length will be doubled to five kilometres. Incrementally, Hyysalo plans to build up the distance and run a full marathon in 2018.

The day ended in a fireworks of minds (“Älytulitus”) with prominent public figures discussing their dreams and how they would like to see more intelligence in our everyday lives, from human-integrated identity chips (for convenience of shopping or travelling, for example) to intelligence in the kitchen (to reduce the amount of food wasted) to interesting thoughts of how to generate real-time awareness of our health.

While some of these may never come true, the future is ours to make, and we invite all to share in the spirit of open collaboration to accomplish our dreams and making the future brighter together, one step at a time.

Want to learn more about how Big Data can be integrated and accessible? Learn about Comptel EventLink 7.0 below:

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