On January 30th, 2013, the CMA will host the annual Analytics Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The one-day conference will help attendees with the "how" of implementing their analytics strategy, focusing on the best practices successful organizations have adopted while overcoming some of the common pitfalls.
One of the sessions, "Enterprise Data in Action: RBS Citizens Puts the Business First", will be co-presented by Jill Dyché, Vice President, Thought Leadership, SAS. The CMA recently had an opportunity to ask Jill a few questions.
What is the biggest challenge businesses currently face with respect to the copious volume of data available for them to collect?
There are really two challenges. The first one is how to get the data - finding, accessing, gathering, integrating and deploying the data to various business people. The second challenge is knowing what to do with the data once you have it. Lots of executives are talking to us about big data. Understanding in advance what you want to do with that data I think is actually an underestimated challenge.
Which companies are doing an excellent job at leveraging Big Data to optimize their processes and provide better value to customers?
Macy's is doing a great job with Big Data because they already had the processes set up for data that wasn't necessarily "Big Data". They had the expertise, they had the data quality people, they had business stewardship, they understood their systems and records – so applying incumbent expertise to this new world of Big Data really helped them accelerate their delivery. They're doing a lot of analysis on their web data and the fact that they had existing processes and existing skills in place sets them apart.
Another company I'll mention is Sears. Sears sees Big Data as an opportunity to modernize a lot of their existing technology platforms and their existing analytics. What Sears has done is put together, in essence, an office for Big Data that initially was internal - however now they're marketing it as a service to other retailers. They've applied their Big Data competencies internally and they're now developing value-added services for external companies to leverage.
What are some notable IT trends, with respect to Enterprise, that you feel we should watch out for over the next few years?
One of the trends that we're seeing, which has been talked about for awhile but really hasn't actually materialized until recently, is the whole trend of micro segmentation and behavior-based segmentation of customers. Only now with some very, very detailed data can we really segment in a way that's relevant to our customer - whether B2B or B2C. I think the other trend obviously is Big Data, which we've already talked about. Companies are rapidly coming up with business cases for Big Data.
To learn more about the Analytics Conference and to register, click here or call 416-645-3281.