Benefiting from big data

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big dataIndividuals are benefiting from the new cost structures associated with big data, as more data is widely available for free or at little cost, it turned out at the Economist’s Information Forum 2013 conference held in San Francisco on June 4, 2013.

By Kamran Saddique

In the world of stock exchanges you just need to look at sites such as finance.google.com or finance.yahoo.com.

Regulators and businesses are also coming together through big data as opposed to the past when they were looking at two different data sets with polarised views, Brad Peterson, Chief Information Officer of  Nasdaq OMX, said. However, he was quick to suggest that rules and regulations are way behind when data is concerned – this was a unanimous perception throughout the conference with Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, agreeing and saying this was “one of the biggest challenges for all industries and countries.”

There were also interesting arguments from some of the panel members who insisted that data is only a source of information, and one still needs to make decisions with one’s gut. There were suggestions that data helps in making a decision but it’s not going to be all and end all, said Michael Flowers, Analytics Director at the Mayor’s Office, New York City. He also went on to mention that leaders make the difference in driving big data such as Michael Bloomberg as he understands disruption technology.

Citibank’s retail division is working with its retail partners such as Home Depot and Macy’s in using one single data set as opposed to two separate data sets in the past. They analyse the data and are asking “why” are consumers spending money in a particular area, and this allows their marketing officers to develop a better and more accurate strategy to attract these clients continuously to their products. This does not mean that corporates will spend less on a marketing budget, but they will look for more accurate returns, according to Bill Johnson, Chief Executive of Citi Retail Services.

Finally, privacy and security were other key issues highlighted throughout the day in the panels but without any concrete solutions. Even Google had no comments to add to this subject. Privacy is and will remain a major problem and consumers want to know what a company is doing with their data. On the other hand, security for companies is of growing importance – for example, Citibank is spending significant amounts of money as more and more companies are attacked with distributed denial of service attacks emanating from China and other parts of the world.

Innovation rewired:  Adobe and Intel

Adobe has been in a major transformation over the past few years. It was known as a provider of software services, but their new vision is to be the best collateral tool builder for tools that will allow their clients to monetise. They are also moving to a subscription-based model.

“Now we are a SAAS company where we are making changes every day and not every quarter, as it has to be in real time.” said Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Adobe’s CIO.

Intel is also looking into the future. Products are diversifying away from PCs and servers where they have only needed a handful of sales clients in the past such as Dell, but now they have to include smartphones and tablets, which have half the life cycle of a PC. Time to market is a huge challenge for Intel but a great opportunity so they are using machine-learning techniques to help with this.

For example it takes them five quarters to test over a billion resistors with all the combinations that are possible. “Through machine learning we have reduced this to four quarters, which is 20 per cent faster, and in the next generation this will be further reduced to three quarters,” said Kim Stevenson, CIO of Intel.

Disrupting the global economy

James Mayika, Director of McKinsey Global Institute, identified 12 areas that will disrupt technology over the next decade and in four key areas, in

* IT/mobile Internet, cloud technology, Internet of things and autonomous knowledge work

* Machines working for humanity – advanced robotics, autonomous and near autonomous vehicles (cars, drones, trucks etc.) or 3D printing

* Rethinking energy – energy storage, advanced oil and gas and renewables

* Building blocks – next generation genomics and advanced materials

Consumers are expected to be the big winners, and entrepreneurs will have a a bright future due to low barriers of entry, and the nature of work will change as companies will pursue new business models and eventually get them right. However, policies and rules would have a hard time keeping up.

We still do not know where data is having the biggest impact as it is too early to say but there are huge disrupting technologies coming. Almost all companies are trying to understand big data and innovating especially in the US.

Google’s Schmidt discussed the three biggest sectors that are dragging the economy and are mired in bureaucracy and inefficiency, notably healthcare, education and the public sector. However, the silver lining is that big data will effectively be a major boost for these three sectors.

These three sectors are also determined by federal governments in ASEAN economies, so how will they embrace big data?

However, the most important question according to Schmidt is: Do governments want to actually fix the problem?

A few insights from Google

Platforms will be the best way to provide big data as it allows everyone to communicate and aggregate data, not software services or packages. Schmidt mentioned Android as a great example for developers from all over the world and, of course, LinkedIn. Another interesting mention was on back-end services, which have not caught up with the front end yet, and this is where there are immense opportunities.

Schmidt further mentioned that small companies are pushing the edge on privacy violations with a client policy as opposed to larger corporations because young companies are aggressively pushing to get more users and/or clients. Privacy and security threats are major issues for Google and other big players, and Schmidt believes that regulators should help the industry in getting the right policies out there.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Individuals are benefiting from the new cost structures associated with big data, as more data is widely available for free or at little cost, it turned out at the Economist’s Information Forum 2013 conference held in San Francisco on June 4, 2013.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

big dataIndividuals are benefiting from the new cost structures associated with big data, as more data is widely available for free or at little cost, it turned out at the Economist’s Information Forum 2013 conference held in San Francisco on June 4, 2013.

By Kamran Saddique

In the world of stock exchanges you just need to look at sites such as finance.google.com or finance.yahoo.com.

Regulators and businesses are also coming together through big data as opposed to the past when they were looking at two different data sets with polarised views, Brad Peterson, Chief Information Officer of  Nasdaq OMX, said. However, he was quick to suggest that rules and regulations are way behind when data is concerned – this was a unanimous perception throughout the conference with Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, agreeing and saying this was “one of the biggest challenges for all industries and countries.”

There were also interesting arguments from some of the panel members who insisted that data is only a source of information, and one still needs to make decisions with one’s gut. There were suggestions that data helps in making a decision but it’s not going to be all and end all, said Michael Flowers, Analytics Director at the Mayor’s Office, New York City. He also went on to mention that leaders make the difference in driving big data such as Michael Bloomberg as he understands disruption technology.

Citibank’s retail division is working with its retail partners such as Home Depot and Macy’s in using one single data set as opposed to two separate data sets in the past. They analyse the data and are asking “why” are consumers spending money in a particular area, and this allows their marketing officers to develop a better and more accurate strategy to attract these clients continuously to their products. This does not mean that corporates will spend less on a marketing budget, but they will look for more accurate returns, according to Bill Johnson, Chief Executive of Citi Retail Services.

Finally, privacy and security were other key issues highlighted throughout the day in the panels but without any concrete solutions. Even Google had no comments to add to this subject. Privacy is and will remain a major problem and consumers want to know what a company is doing with their data. On the other hand, security for companies is of growing importance – for example, Citibank is spending significant amounts of money as more and more companies are attacked with distributed denial of service attacks emanating from China and other parts of the world.

Innovation rewired:  Adobe and Intel

Adobe has been in a major transformation over the past few years. It was known as a provider of software services, but their new vision is to be the best collateral tool builder for tools that will allow their clients to monetise. They are also moving to a subscription-based model.

“Now we are a SAAS company where we are making changes every day and not every quarter, as it has to be in real time.” said Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Adobe’s CIO.

Intel is also looking into the future. Products are diversifying away from PCs and servers where they have only needed a handful of sales clients in the past such as Dell, but now they have to include smartphones and tablets, which have half the life cycle of a PC. Time to market is a huge challenge for Intel but a great opportunity so they are using machine-learning techniques to help with this.

For example it takes them five quarters to test over a billion resistors with all the combinations that are possible. “Through machine learning we have reduced this to four quarters, which is 20 per cent faster, and in the next generation this will be further reduced to three quarters,” said Kim Stevenson, CIO of Intel.

Disrupting the global economy

James Mayika, Director of McKinsey Global Institute, identified 12 areas that will disrupt technology over the next decade and in four key areas, in

* IT/mobile Internet, cloud technology, Internet of things and autonomous knowledge work

* Machines working for humanity – advanced robotics, autonomous and near autonomous vehicles (cars, drones, trucks etc.) or 3D printing

* Rethinking energy – energy storage, advanced oil and gas and renewables

* Building blocks – next generation genomics and advanced materials

Consumers are expected to be the big winners, and entrepreneurs will have a a bright future due to low barriers of entry, and the nature of work will change as companies will pursue new business models and eventually get them right. However, policies and rules would have a hard time keeping up.

We still do not know where data is having the biggest impact as it is too early to say but there are huge disrupting technologies coming. Almost all companies are trying to understand big data and innovating especially in the US.

Google’s Schmidt discussed the three biggest sectors that are dragging the economy and are mired in bureaucracy and inefficiency, notably healthcare, education and the public sector. However, the silver lining is that big data will effectively be a major boost for these three sectors.

These three sectors are also determined by federal governments in ASEAN economies, so how will they embrace big data?

However, the most important question according to Schmidt is: Do governments want to actually fix the problem?

A few insights from Google

Platforms will be the best way to provide big data as it allows everyone to communicate and aggregate data, not software services or packages. Schmidt mentioned Android as a great example for developers from all over the world and, of course, LinkedIn. Another interesting mention was on back-end services, which have not caught up with the front end yet, and this is where there are immense opportunities.

Schmidt further mentioned that small companies are pushing the edge on privacy violations with a client policy as opposed to larger corporations because young companies are aggressively pushing to get more users and/or clients. Privacy and security threats are major issues for Google and other big players, and Schmidt believes that regulators should help the industry in getting the right policies out there.

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