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Driving Transformation with Big Data Analytics #BDA13


I am attending IBM’s Analyst Insights this week and blogging all the sessions not under NDA. First up is Bridget van Kralingen on The New Client Agenda: Driving Transformation with Big Data Analytics.

IBM believes that Big Data is not inherently going to generate value, it is going to take using it in new ways to do that. Whether it is acting faster, targeting customers or segments more precisely or making smarter decisions about resources, Big Data will add value only when it is put to work.

The huge volumes of Big Data from new participants both dramatically expands the context of data that a business can/must manage and, at the same time, dramatically reduced the scope of a particular action – to a single customer or transaction. Using all this data to drive to the long hoped for “market of 1.”

Bridget identified a couple of critical issues therefore:

  • Decoding the “social genome”
    Unlocking big data to understand individuals, their motivation and beliefs. For instance using millions of social profiles, transactions or vast amounts of medical data to develop very targeted loans, pricing or offers.
  • Look inside
    From systems or record to systems of people (not sure if this is the same as when other bits of IBM talk about systems of interaction) – focusing on collective intelligence.
  • From decisions to discovery
    Well I disagree with this one. Bridget emphasized the need for being comfortable to explore rather than to make decisions. This is like saying a company should put its money into pure research only not into day to day operational improvement! Discovery and exploration with Big Data is important, just not the most important thing.

Anyway, this new world requires a continuous focus on transformation. Organizations should:

  • Fund investment by finding productivity improvements (presumably¬†by focusing on existing decisions and getting better at them)
  • Convert new insight to new value quickly – make sure you have the agility to change quickly (both on the people side AND on the systems side I would assert)
  • Intentional design of a new kind of organization

This is, she says, the biggest change for organizations in the way they work in a long time. Lots of challenges but lots of opportunities too.


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